Monday, December 21, 2009

What is a Twitterduction?

A Twitterduction is an introduction between two or more Twitter users by a third person.

Tonight I introduced two people in Minnesota with this tweet. There are synergies that are yet to be created using the power of Twitter. Hopefully more people will start connecting others together.

#Twitterduction: @LizStrand meet @ryanr09. @ryanr09 meet @LizStrand. *Connect if you have common interests


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Idea for

Suggested Feature for

After having bought 15- 20 books one might have a good idea what sellers are accurate, honest and fair.

There should be a way for me to give them more business. A user should be able to create a "Favorite Seller" list of sellers to check for item availability. When looking for a book it would check the inventory from the businesses on the "Favorite Seller" list first.

Was just searching for two books recommended by ceomarshal on Twitter.
ceomarshall: @Admore 2 Fav Business Books are Crossing the Chasm and Execution: the discipline of getting things done
Original tweet.

Abebooks listings for each book:
Does Abebooks already have a way to rate sellers?
Is there a list I can create to rate the seller on several dimensions?
  • Accuracy of listing
  • Speed
  • Responsive correspondance (When book is located, packed, shipped, expected arrival date, if there is a problem how can the buyer directly communicate with the seller...)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Foursquare Weekend


Hopefully this weekend I’ll have access to mobile Internet again. If I do I’ll be testing out foursquare as a mobile location, social interaction and commerce site. I say commerce because most of the locations to check in are locations where one might make a transaction.

There are some businesses using foursquare to drive business and general awareness of the brand.

In the past few months we've seen local businesses encouraging users to show their phones to servers and cashiers as a way to prove their loyalty to a particular place.

See “FOURSQUARE FOR BUSINESSES” for more information.

Cold Day To Run

Ipod 006 Ipod 005

Way too cold to be running in weather like this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Apple iTunes Account Update


A while back iTunes required that my account be updated. Up until that time I was using an AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) login ID. Apple required that this account be converted to an Apple account. Went through all this and everything worked fine until the iTunes update back in September (2009). At the same time I was unable to login with my new Apple ID and my music was essentially deauthorized. After a few days the problem that prevented me from logging in was fixed and I was subsequently able to login with my Apple ID.

Here is the problem, much of my music is no longer accessible as it was purchased with the AIM account ID. Almost every time I try to play a track purchased with the AIM ID, a pop up box appears. There is at least one track associated with the AIM ID that currently plays.

Searching for the fix to this situation is frustrating and time consuming. This is a big problem.

 Apple Song Not Authorized

Apple iTunes Error

Rant <end>

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Twitter Update Box


Twitter Page Update 11.3.2009

Looks like Twitter recently made a change to the homepage. There is a new box that shows the number of inbound tweets since you last refreshed your page.

No confirmation if this is just for a few users or was rolled out to all accounts.


Do you have this on your Twitter homepage yet?

Please include your Twitter ID in the comments section if you would. Thanks ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


There is an introduction to Twitter class at the Biggby Coffee in Grosse Pointe Farms on Thursday October 22, 2009 at 6:30 PM.

The hosts are @grossepointey and @BIGGBYMANGP

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quote on Learning

“We Learn . . .
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss
80% of what we experience
95% of what we teach others.”
�William Glasser quotes ( , b.1925)"

Seems like a good idea to incorporate multiple methods. Doing so appears to create a synergy of learning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Podcast of Interest:: Venture Voice: VV Show #60 - Larry Kramer of MarketWatch

Venture Voice: VV Show #60 - Larry Kramer of MarketWatch: "VV Show #60 - Larry Kramer of MarketWatch"

Larry takes us back to his start as a paperboy and though his career. The details, twists and turns are interesting in that they include technology and the dot-com boom. This was a really good interview with Larry. Lots of historical context. Worth a listen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The New York Times: Gary Vaynerchuk

Nice to see Gary getting some mainstream press. His book is going to sell like gangbusters. Believe it comes out in about five weeks. People are looking to be inspired. Gary will play this super hero role well and sell a ton, a ton of books along the way.

The front page of the New York Times featuring Gary is below.

Garyvee NYT 9.9.2009

Apple iPod - Touch

What will be the big news from Apple on Wednesday September 9, 2009?

Below are some of the features that I believe may be in the new iPod Touch.

  • Camera
  • GPS
  • Internet data plan capable
    • Choose the service provider of your choice. AT&T will not have an exclusive deal with Apple for this product.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wall Street Journal Traffic Report: Future To Include Twitter?


When will the Wall Street Journal add a section for most the tweeted articles? What about the most clicked via Twitter posts?

This would definitely be something that could occur in the next 12 months. Twitter has grown like a juggernaut in the past year. It would be wise to integrate the Journal and Twitter more than is currently being done.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kennedy Dominates Google News: “In The News” Section

Five of the ten items listed on Google News “In The News” section are related to Senator Kennedy or to a place that his family is associated with. See screen shot nearby.


Kennedy In The News

Email Spam – Subject Line: Congratulations Lucky Winner!!Month Of July 09"


Email in it’s entirety.

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inform you that your email has won a prize money of One Million Great
Britain Pound Sterlings(£1,000,000.00)for the month of July on our Online
This is a program aimed encourage you to petronize our products and also
help families with the current Global crisis allover(Europe,American,Asia
and Africa), hence no ticket sold.
To claim your winning prize you are to send the following information
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Name:Mr. Francise Jones
Claims Processing Manager, Payment and Release order Department,
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is true and binding on me.If at any time it is discovered that I have
given false information, I will forfeit my rights to my winnings.Be
further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality until
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and unwarranted abuse of this program.
Congratulations once again!.
Pepsi Online Co-ordinator
Miss Anita Spark.
©2009 pepsi bottling company All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Starting A Business & Being An Entrepreneur

Came across the first video on Friendfeed earlier today. All three are worth your time if you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur.

Melanie Notkin, @SavvyAuntie on Twitter, is interviewed by Ariane de Bonvoisin, @clickariane on Twitter.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Think Outside The Box: Break Down


The phrase, ‘think outside the box’ has become commonplace.

The box represents the imaginary limitations or parameters for a situation. These “Dimensions of Value” are leverage points that create value to the customer.  Think of the box as having three or six sides. Each side is a value point to the consumer.

For any particular product or service there is a standard that represents the current market. As that market gains new entrants, there will be an increase in competition and a decrease in operating margins. An organization is challenged to increase innovation.

Innovation is or may be achieved via moving one of the walls of the box. Consumers change over time. What is optimal for consumers today, is suboptimal for customers tomorrow.

Organizations must challenge themselves with innovation that increases consumer value as well as returns to the firm. This must be done even if it destroys the old business. The organization is better off destroying itself via innovation than to be destroyed by an outside force with no alternatives available.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apple iTunes Drops AOL Screen Names?


Itunes Aol

Logged into iTunes this evening to sync the iPod and this dialog box appeared. Have never seen anything like this before.

Did Apple just drop AOL screen names?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What Economic News?

Want to know what economic data is being released soon? What are the important ones to know? Is there a consensus forecast?

The answer to these questions and more can be found on the Bloomberg Economic Calendar page.

Monday, July 27, 2009


About once a month there is a WordPress Meetup in Ferndale Michigan. Usually the meetings are at AJ’s Music Cafe [a coffee shop].

There was a good turnout at today’s event. There were probably about eight of us in total. It was cool that a few new people came out to see what was going on.

Aside from conversation about WordPress, we discussed Chris Brogan and his book Trust Agents as well as the domain registration site Joker. Another item mentioned was Moo cards, a distinct business card. They make an impact was the consensus.

A private Friendfeed group has been created for this group. If you are part of the group and would like access to the group request and invite.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Below are the four elements to creating success as stated in the Wall Street Journal article: Silicon Valley Survivor

  • “Be realistic”
  • “Assess your situation”
  • “Get ready for the upturn”
  • “Get closer to your customers”

For the full details on each, visit the full article on the WSJ website.

Here are three unwritten rules to add to the four above.

  • “Watch the stock market.”
  • “Always have more cash, not less.”
  • “Be aggressive.”

Again, these are from the article linked above. It is one thing to talk about these rules and quite another to have such strong execution on them. Cisco has successfully acquired several billion dollar businesses and not missed a beat in doing so. They have been a nimble M&A machine.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


An article in the Wall Street Journal, AT&T Gets Another iPhone Boost, includes some interesting information about AT&T and the Apple iPhone.

In the most recent quarter AT&T activated 2.4 million iPhone units. Assuming that each of these units is a sale and part of the total subsidy number leads to the following.

AT&T estimated that subsidy payments to Apple for the iPhone were $720 million in the quarter. Some basic math, $720 divided by 2.4 million, reveals that each handset is subsidized approximately $300.


How would you analyze this data?

Have you seen similar of different numbers?

Friday, July 24, 2009


Earlier this week at #tweetea, a tweetup event in Royal Oak, MI, we had a discussion about Twitter. The discussion included some thoughts on how so many people sign up and just do not see what all the hoopla is about. A big part of the conversation revolved around there not being a guide on how to use the service. It is not real clear and generally takes a few weeks to get a hang of it. Most new users are not willing to put in such efforts and thereby abandon the service.

What Twitter Did

Twitter recently released Twitter 101 - A Special Guide. The guide is geared for business and included best practices and case studies. This is the kind of progress that will be welcomed by new users.

Extra Credit Reading

The New York Times: Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media


  • Do you use Twitter?
  • What value do you get or give with it?

A few years back it was new for a business to have a website. Then it was having an email address. The new thing is to have  a Twitter account.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

TWITTER TOOLS [Current 7.23.2009]



Current top sites used to enhance the use of Twitter are as follows. – URL shortener. Link is for main site. Get the bookmarklet to be most effective.

TweepSearch – A search tool for the bio section of a Twitter user.

Twellow – The directory of Twitter

Tweet Stats – Data about a Twitter account.

Twitter Search – Used to find tweets that include terms or that are from certain geographic locations.


What tools are you using?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009






These are really good. Great for listening during a daily commute. Each of the above podcasts is about thirty minutes in length.  If you are interested in learning more about business and the economy these are some good podcasts to start with.


The blog has been getting quite a bit of traffic regarding ePrize layoffs as a search topic. Last year ago I wrote two posts about ePrize [post 1 & post 2]. A recent Detroit News article confirms that there have been more layoffs.

The Detroit News: Number of jobless in Mich. hits 740,000 Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ryan Duval, a 26-year-old software engineer, just got laid off from ePrize LLC, an online marketing firm based in Pleasant Ridge. When Duval joined the firm four years ago, ePrize revenues were growing almost monthly and the staff had doubled to more than 400 employees. "Now, I'm part of the latest round of layoffs," he said.

The firms that hired ePrize have likely pulled back spending on the kinds of promotions that were the bread and butter of ePrize revenues. Less business means that there is less need for the knowledge workers that drove the ePrize business model.

The current economic conditions in Michigan are some of the most challenging in a generation. In November 1982, Michigan unemployment peaked at 16.9%. Michigan will likely surpass that during the current downturn.

Sunday, July 19, 2009



Are you resting on your laurels?

Prove you are not, everyday to clients, associates, business partners and to yourself.

When one has created the seeds and fruits of success, it is important to not let past performance discontinue itself because of a sense of entitlement. One must continue to create delight in the community that makes an enterprise thrive and prosper.

SPAM - Subject line: Your resume on the internet (medical job training available)

The email below looks like a scam to me. Think I’ve seen this one or one like it before. Marking it as SPAM so it gets blocked the next time around.



I am a healthcare recruiter.  I saw your resume on the internet.  How is your job search going?  Are you still looking for work in your current field or would you be interested in a career change to healthcare?  There are many job openings right now and there is a huge shortage of qualified staff.  We are working with some schools that will train you for a new career in healthcare.  There are careers that range from $25,000 to $35,000 per year as well as careers that pay anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 per year.  Many people also qualify for Federal funds to pay for the training.  If you are interested or you would like more information please reply back and let me know.

If you are not interested please do not reply.

Best regards and good luck in your job search.


Justin James

27762 Antonio Pkwy L1-261

Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

PS..  I'm not going to fill your e-mail box up with lots of messages, but I will send you an e-mail and check in from time to time to see how things are going, but if you would rather not hear back form me just send an e-mail to and I won't contact you again.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


UPDATE: near the bottom of the email - "Was it a gift? No longer interested? Improve your recommendations." Amazon should put it next to each item and not at the bottom of the email. Who will read the whole message if it seems inaccurate or not relevant?

Below is a screenshot of an email Amazon sent. It is a list of recommended items based on “items you purchased or told us you own.” Knitting is a cool hobby but it is not one of mine.

Amazon Recommends

Cool idea but it needs a “This was a gift for someone else” button.

Has Amazon ever recommended items for you that were off the wall?

Friday, July 17, 2009

SCAM EMAIL - Subject: YOUR EMAIL HAS WON £500,000.00 in category "B"


Email text below

Dear Winner,
We are pleased to inform you that you have emerged as a winner in our end of Year (2009) International Lottery Programs. Your email address was selected by our Electronic Random Selection System (ERSS) from an exclusive list of 30,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies generated from an internet resource database. No tickets were sold.
Your email address is identified with Batch Number: P1/56/2009 and Ticket Number: PL 3917 /2009-09 in Category "B" and your claims portfolio is filled with Ref Number:UKL/09-005/XX.You are therefore advised to receive a cash prize of £500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pound) from the total payout.
To claim your winning money, please contact our Certified and Accredited claims agent for category "B" winners with the information below:
Name: Mr. Richard Adams
Fiduciary Agent
Endeavour to provide him with the following information in your contact with him.
You are to keep all lotto information confidential, especially your reference and ticket numbers.
Yours Faithfully,
Rebecca Anne Crawford
Lottery Co-ordinator.
UK National Lottery Company

If you found this blog post you can safely ignore and delete the email message that set off warning bells. Those warning bells caused you to run a search to verify.

Thursday, July 16, 2009



Came across this ad while browsing the New York Times website. Thought it was interesting that a local community college was using Google Ads. [See screenshot nearby] There is obviously some sort of geographic targeting of this ad. My location is about 10 miles from the South Campus. It would make little sense to display it to someone more than fifty miles from the campus unless it was for online classes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NEW BOOK PRICING: “Free: The Future of a Radical Price”

The other day Bloomberg had an excellent podcast interview with Chris Anderson, author of, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. After listening, it brought me to the belief that this new book was worth looking into. Used the Amazon Apple Touch app to search for the book. Found it for a very reasonable price. Bundling it with The Long Tail, another book by Chris, brought that total just above the $25 basket size required to get free shipping on Amazon.

In the mean time some other things came up, namely #tweetea and the order was not placed. Today I finally got back to Amazon to look at completing the transaction from yesterday. The price has gone up significantly. Below are the prices from this evening.

*Note: The prices may have changed between not and when you visit them.

Amazon: $26.99

Borders: $21.59

Barnes & Noble: $17.54

Moral of the story: You delay, you pay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


If you are looking for a new tool to dig a little deeper for information on the web you may want to try

This is how Samepoint bills itself.

Samepoint is a conversation search engine that lets you see what people are talking about.
Discover, learn and share new web sites and ideas.


Try searching for some friends or business associates. You might find some interesting information. You could also use it to search for competitors.



Monday, July 13, 2009


How large a role does materialism play in your life?

  1. How many automobiles [+ trucks] do you own?
  2. How many televisions do you own?
  3. How many computers do you own? [do not count smart phones or PDA’s]
  4. Do you own a smart phone? [if you own an iPod Touch, it counts]
  5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  6. How many watches do you own?
  7. How many jerseys or shirts with a players name on them do you own?
  8. How many square feet are there in your dwelling per person?
    • Formula: Home of 1,500 square feet. Two people = 750 square feet per person
  9. How many round trip flights did you make in the past 365 days? [personal, not work related]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Business Week: Customer Engagement

Earlier today I was listening to a Business Week podcast for the story titled “Where Housing Will Be in 2012.”

One of the things that stuck me was a question that raised concerning the future selling price of a home in New Jersey. Both writer and the editor took a stab at answering the question. [My guess is $475,000]

This question would be a good way to engage listeners and readers. Perhaps Business Week will use a free survey site to do just that. A site such as Survey Monkey or Predictify may work.

Data requested would include the following

  • Price in dollars
  • Name
  • Email

Closest guess gets the winner in some sort of analysis Hall of Fame page on the Business Week website.

Each guess could include space for a 140 character reason for why that price was guessed. Twitter posting may also be included.

Would something like this drive discussion?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

GAS PRICES IN ‘09, ‘08 & ‘07


Gas is going for $2.439 at retail nearby [7/11/2009].

On 7/4/2008 gas was at $4.199 locally.

On 7/6/2007 gas was $3.199 locally.

In Summer 2008 there was a huge price spike where the national average topped $4 a gallon. Crude oil also closed above $145 a barrel.


What do you think the national average will be for a gallon of regular at the end of 2009?


Walmart is already targeting the college back to school crowd. It is only Saturday July 11, 2009. Target does not appear to be targeting back to school as an event/buying occasion yet.

Walmart College ad 7.11.2009

Note: In the mail today was a back to school themed catalog from Bed Bath & Beyond. Below is a screenshot of their website. [7.11.2009]

Bed Bath & Beyond College Ad 7.11.2009


Screenshot of the Target site is below. [7.11.2009]

Target Website 7.11.2009 no college ad yet

Friday, July 10, 2009


On the last visit to Kroger the Plus Card Savings came out to $.14. Yep 14 cents. That is a savings of 3% on this transaction.

Nikon 002

If  you have a savings amount on the bottom of a shopping receipt, what is the biggest percentage saved you have seen?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


When reading a book it is suggested that one take down notes to further synthesize the thoughts and lessons.

Some books are good to write in. Did this most notably while reading Personality Not Included.

Other books get a blank 3” x 5” index card that is used as a bookmark and to write out notes. This is a good method. It is best used for small nuggets of knowledge and short quotes. Long strings of text take up a lot of space.

The newest method employed for note taking while reading is a legal note pad. Currently I am writing down the page, one item per line. The goal is to make two columns per page. After reading the book with this method, I’ll probably type out the full notes and post to Evernote.


Do you take down notes as you read?

Notes after reading?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Below is a tweet from earlier today.

Photo_20090706232420_normaladmore We practice to make the plays WORK! Admit it, you should put in some practice. #NowNotLater about 2 hours ago from web

If you have something important to do, it would be wise to start on it now and not wait. Starting is the first step to attainment of any goal or mission.

Possible Life Applications [PLA’s]

  • Jobs
  • Career
  • Learning

Can you think of any other applications where doing it now is better then later?



For some people it is about price. For others it is about location. Some people even look for superior service. Each of these is a tactic that may be employed by a retail business to create customers.

Near where I live, Kroger dominates the area with four stores that are closer than any competing [food] store. CVS is a bit closer in two instances. Could one really shop for most groceries at a CVS? If one had very limited needs it is possible. For the 99.999% rest of us, we will probably have a supermarket or supercenter that serves our grocery shopping needs.

Location [access] is the biggest reason I shop Kroger for groceries. Each of the four stores is on a major road all within 1.5 miles of home. No matter which way I am coming from, there is almost always a Kroger to be found on the way home.

Where do you shop for groceries, why?



pana 151 

Last night when I filled up the car, the price of gas was $2.559 [credit] and 2.499 for cash per gallon. The station was the Mobil on 11-Mile road in Royal Oak and just west of I-75

Monday, July 6, 2009



On Monday Caribou Coffee has a promotion of coffee for a dollar.

Today I found out it is only for the dark roast. Usually the dark roast is what I order. The past few visits to Caribou have included purchases of dark roast coffee. Probably one of the last three visits was on a Monday for the dollar special.

For whatever reason when asked if I’d like light or dark roast, I selected light. As the transaction was being rung, that’s when I found that the promotion is only for the dark roast.

Instead of paying one dollar, the total with tax came to $2.23. That’s the regular price and I was a bit disappointed to not get the Monday Special.

It’s experiences like these that drive consumer cynicism. When there is a deal, there is almost always a catch. If the actual deal was better communicated, I would not have been less than delighted on this visit. The order would have been for the regular dark roast if getting the deal was that important.

Certainly this is not enough to drive me to exclusively to Starbucks. It will certainly give me pause before I have to make a choice between Caribou and the Starbucks just a few doors down.


How many customers have had a less than delightful experience at a retail business?

What should a business do to prevent service failures from happening?

How can firms better communicate what the deal is and includes?

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Real Estate promoted using Zillow

Recently I was passing a home for sale and couldn’t help but notice the sandwich board in front of the house. It indicated that people should visit and search for 625 Renaud for house details.

Certainly lots of homebuyers are using Zillow and Trulia to find homes that fit their requirements and budget. Using the sandwich board to drive traffic to the site has probably lead to more potential buyers looking at the house.

The listing on Zillow has been updated and currently indicates “Views: 12,” one of which is mine.

Pictures 1 031

Pictures 1 032


View Renaud House for Sale on Zillow in a larger map

Saturday, July 4, 2009



“If you aim at nothing, it is hard to hit the target.” dld

If one is to perform at a high level and generate success in a chosen endeavor, one must choose a goal to aim for. Once a goal [destination] is set one can measure progress to attainment over time.

Sometimes it takes some practice to become better prepared to attain a goal. Measuring progress will enable the individual to understand if the goal is being made and areas of achievement that are weak and improvable.

Friday, July 3, 2009



A Google Maps contractor is working near Detroit, Michigan. At about 9:40am [7/3/2009] one of their vehicles was spotted on the 11 Mile road bridge above I-75.

Pana 120

Pana 121

Map picture


Wondering if they are just adding in missing areas or updating areas that have changed.

Thursday, July 2, 2009



Tweetups are gatherings of peeps [people] who tweet [use Twitter]. Using tools such as Facebook etc has made them quite popular. This popularity has lead to strong and growing attendance [see Detroit Tweetups]. Even when an event is not actively promoted, 15 people show up. That is rather impressive.

When group size becomes large the effectiveness of the group declines. Connections are not as strong as they might be. One might even argue that they are weak. In any case, late last year a few of us were discussing how big the attendance was for recent tweetups [100+ attendees]. At that point we began to meet at a coffee shop under the premise of doing smaller scale tweetups [aka: a mini tweetup]. 

It is time to launch that idea again. There should be mini tweetups all over a large metro area such as we have around Detroit, MI. Other places are welcome to launch their own events. There should be events every day  of the week. Collaboration on ideas is powerful. The network effect will connect people to the resources they need. Resources are best connected in smaller groups where trust can be built. It is also critical for needs, known and unknown to be uncovered. Some people need things and don’t yet know it. In a small group setting these can better be unearthed.

The hashtag I’ll be using for mini tweetups is #mtweetup. The m stands for mini. As a suggestion it is a good idea to keep group size below 8. Even 7 might be too many. If the number of attendees becomes too large, consider breaking the group apart. Move to two places at the location of any events. Perhaps one group could relocate to a second place. This will will expose more people and businesses to Twitter, people and the events that are happening.


What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009



WSJ Bing Ad 7.1.2009

In the past Apple has had some huge ads on the Wall Street Journal website. It appears that Microsoft is now making some big ad buys for their Bing search engine.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Twitter Hashtag

Just created a Twitter hashtag of #Go4It. Used it to encourage someone to take action on two great ideas.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


LA Times Ad

Saw this a few minutes ago. It is not too often that an ad on a national website captures my attention for a local business [Detroit, MI].

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grocery Store News via Yahoo Finance Industry Center

If you are looking for information on the grocery industry a good place to start is the Yahoo Finance Industry Center. News can be found here. There is data and information on many market sectors. Complete sector list is here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How Information Travels

Last week Guy Kawasaki wrote the post, “How to Know What Text and Images People Copy from Your Site” on Tynt for the OPEN Forum blog.

He linked to it on from his Twitter account. May have seen it there or on Friendfeed. Not sure which one it was. Tynt is a tool that allows a website owner to know what text has been copied from their website [or blog].

While reading some RSS posts from the Carpe Diem blog one engaged my interest. It was “Ripped Off and Plagiarized in the Indian Press!!” which essentially covered how some people use others content as their own. Wrote an email to Mark Perry about the tool that Guy wrote about last week. Also included the link the Tynt post by Guy.

In short order Mark sent a reply thanking me for the info and that he would check it out. Not too long after that Mark wrote “Plagiarism Update.”

Takeaway: Information NOW travels much faster than before. Knowledge is becoming more perfect.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marketing Chat #mktgchat

Taking inspiration from @PRsarahevans and #journchat brought out an IDEA called “Marketing Chat.” The hashtag #mktgchat is not currently being used.

The idea is to create a discussion about marketing… the who, what, when, where and how of it.

The platform for it is still up for review… thinking Twitter, Friendfeed and perhaps Skype.

Questions for review:

  • Should the number or participants be limited?
  • Should it be by invite only?
  • Should it be in a room on Friendfeed?
  • Should it be on Twitter?
  • What day and time work well?
    • Must keep in mind other online events
    • Where are participants, what time zone are they in?

Possible Answers:

  • Not currently planning to limit the number of participants. The key is to get a small group of highly engaged people to participate. If value is created in the discussion more people will join in and make it even more valuable.
  • Do it on some sort of invite basis. This will ensure that people are available and interested in participating.
  • Do not know enough about rooms on Friendfeed yet. There is also a large gap between users on Twitter and Friendfeed. With Twitter having a much larger user base.
  • Twitter is probably the right location for posting and creating the early discussions.
  • Will keep Skype in mind if a small group from the chat would like to continue the conversation.

Create a list of topics for each chat in advance &/or take questions and suggestions from participants, before and during the event, to let them guide the conversation where they will see the most value from a group discussion.

Do you have any thoughts and comments?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Your resume on the internet (medical job training available) #SCAM

Where is my name? You say you saw my resume online. Seems like common courtesy to use my proper name.


From: Executive Healthcare Recruiters


I am a healthcare recruiter.  I saw your resume on the internet.  How is your job search going?  Are you still looking for work in your current field or would you be interested in a career change to healthcare?  There are many job openings right now and there is a huge shortage of qualified staff.  We are working with some schools that will train you for a new career in healthcare.  There are careers that range from $25,000 to $35,000 per year as well as careers that pay anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 per year.  Many unemployed people even qualify to continue receiving their unemployment insurance benefits for up to 52 weeks while they retrain for a new career, and many people also qualify for Federal funds to pay for the training.  If you are interested or you would like more information please reply back and let me know.

If you are not interested please do not reply.

Best regards and good luck in your job search.


27762 Antonio Pkwy L1-261

Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

PS..  I'm not going to fill your e-mail box up with lots of messages, but I will send you an e-mail and check in from time to time to see how things are going, but if you would rather not hear back form me just send an e-mail to and I won't contact you again.

Blah blah blah. If it sounds too good to be true… you know the rest.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


SPDC Centre London
SE1 7NA.

(Registration 70339411).

REF NO: HLP/200-26937
BATCH: 2009MJL-01

                   SERVICE TO HUMANITY

Attention: Winner,

We wish to heartily congratulate you on your emergence as a 2009

Your email which drew the winning number, of our yearly cash give away
Promotions, was selected via our Random Computer Selection System
(RCSS) and attached to file reference number (HLP/200-26937).

We write to hereby inform you that a prize of GBP 500,000.00 (Five
Hundred Thousand Great Britian Pounds)
Pounds Sterling awaits you for redemption redemption.

The verification department has already proceeded with the verification
process of your winnings. We would instruct you on how to receive your
prize money as soon as your claims have been verified.

Your prize is currently lodged in a suspense account pending your
activation of an operative account with the paying bank as shown below:

To Proceed you are adviced to contact our paying bank personnel to
activate an account so your prize will be cashed and deposited at:

BANK NAME: Lloyds TSB Bank plc.
New Accounts Dept.
Accounts Officer In Charge: Mr. Edward Guti

Kindest Regards,

Shell Petroleum Dev. Co.
United Kingdom .

CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This email message, including any attachments, is
intended only for the use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain
information that is privileged, confidential and prohibited from
unauthorized disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the
intended recipient of this message, any dissemination, distribution or
ofthis message is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in
error, please notify the sender by reply email and destroy all copies
of the original message.

Copyright © 2009 the Shell Oil Awards International.
All rights reserved. Terms of Service - Guidelines

So, this is what those oil scam emails look like. Please do not respond to it if you receive it. If you came to this blog post by way of an Internet search, it indicates that your bull s*** detector is properly operating.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Twitter: Double Text Box

Twitter Double Text Box

Above is a screen shot of the double text boxes.

  • Have you seen this on your Twitter page yet?
  • Is this a future change?
  • Is this an error?

The Metric Birthday

Hallmark and American Greetings are waiting for a ground breaking IDEA like this to drive sales!

Never heard of a metric birthday? Now you have.

Define: “Metric Birthday” – Number of days since birth divisible by 100 and getting an Integer.

Example: Date of Birth – 4/27/1994… on 5/18/2009 this person will be 5,500 days old. Their Metric Birthday number is 55.



Lloyd Coulaud

Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Regarding your job request

A venerable insurance company within the underlying market of operation, is proud to announce yet another feasible entry for uprising accounting adepts.
Comfort working environment will most definitely justify the necessity to excel in the vast sphere of professional goals, and thereof lay a firm foundation for your career
Salient associates, with profound work knowledge, will assist you in unwrapping avocation related techniques, which will best integrate with the development and
popularization of high-caliber insurance solutions.
Feel free to consider the prerequisites table right below, to amass the important information.
-- This is part time work at home position and can easily combine this vacancy with other work.
-- Your education and status don't matter.
-- You will receive payments (Direct Bank Deposits and wire transfers) from client within United States and send it by instant payment sistem such as Western Union. You will receive 5% of processed amount.
-- To start work with us you must only have basic checking account at any bank. Your financial information will never be disclosed to third parties.
-- You can work 1-3 hours per day.
-- This is not insurance sales position and you don't need to sell insurance, this is Money Transfer Assistant vacancy.
-- You do not spend your own money and there are no startup fees. All charges for withdrawal or transferring the money will be deducted from the payment.
-- We do not ask any personal information and we run business according to laws of the United States of America.
-- Your fixed salary is 2000 USD a month + 5% from each payment processed by you.
-- The main responsibilities will be to fill forms, receive and transfer money from our clients at the United States to our couriers.
If you want to apply please send all your questions and contact information at . We're looking forward to our further communication.
Julie Mathews. HR department.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Hashtag #VTOS

#VTOS = Virtual Tweetup on Skype

This is an experiment. This is a way of brining people together virtually to live chat. Participants may or may not know each other at beginning of chat.

Plan is to begin by just using the instant message function of Skype. Perhaps at some point in the future there can be voice and video. Voice may be useful for having people speak on specific topics one person at a time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hashtag: #myteams

Started a new hashtag on Twitter this morning. #myteams

First tweet is here > #myteams

Let me add a few more teams below. These are not teams in the traditional sense of sports. They are more like areas of participation. By joining the conversation, one can share ideas with other users on how to create more value from group interaction. The sharing of IDEAS and adjusting them to make them better and better is powerful. This is like continuous improvement [see also Kaizen]. Everything can be made better. There are no limits on human imagination that we do not set for ourselves.


What are your Teams?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Wall Street Journal Leaves Out Something Important

WSJ Missing Author Name


  • Who wrote this article?
  • Should one buy a subscription with the anticipation that the writer is a regular and that their writing and analysis is enlightening and valuable?
  • If the most important asset of the firm is the people who work there, why not promote them?
  • Is the writer on Twitter or other social networks?
  • Why not have a link to past columns?
  • How about having links to all the articles on the main topics of this article? Like an index for the day, week, month, with all mentions on important people and topics.


There is so much room for innovation in business. The problem is that people still expect cheese to appear at “Cheese Station C” even after it clearly is not returning. Reference from the book “Who Moved My Cheese?

The world is changing and we need to change too:

  • Recognizing that change is actually occurring.
  • Self motivation to change ourselves.
  • Take actions to recalibrate the situation.


What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Will Cisco Acquire Twitter & Skype?

Note: This is not a rumor, just a thought that occurred this afternoon.

Cisco owns WebEx.

Could see Cisco buying Twitter and Skype and merging the services to take it to the next level.

Twitter and Skype have different strengths that will create powerful synergies if they can be effectively integrated.

Taking the speed of Twitter tweets as a text based communications medium and merging in the audio and video capabilities of Skype would make for a powerful 1, 2 punch.


What are your thoughts?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book Topic Suggestion

Lets hope that Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee, writes a book titled, “Be a Better Man.” Gary is always talking about how important family is. This would be an ideal topic for Gary to sound off on.


Note: Did this as a quick post. Perhaps an update later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Effective Execution

The below message is a rewording of an IM I sent.

If you can effectively execute you will be successful.

There is plenty of room in the ocean for everybody to swim.

OK, there are sharks.... but the ocean is mostly safe.

More people die walking down the street than from shark attacks.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Startup Weekend Tips

Via Twitter

@DanielleMORRILL provided the thoughts below as being important for Startup Weekend success

  • Get a working prototype as early as possible
  • Then polish polish polish.
  • Keep your team small and focused

Original tweet

If you have some thoughts on this, add them in as a comment. Thanks.

The Flow of Information

The cycle of information. Where it starts, where it leads.

This is not always the process but how it sometimes works. Compelling content creates positive chemical reactions. These reactions can be captured. See below how it all played out.


1. Email from Smart Brief ---> Leads to article on “Garbage mogul makes millions from trash

2. Search on Twitter for TerraCycle


BTRfeatures: Come listen to the Innovative Business Model: TerraCycle show by Planet Good Radio on BlogTalkRadio LIVE at


3. Top result from BlogTalkRadio Link leads to…

Planet Good Radio

Show Name: Innovative Business Model: TerraCycle

4. Listen to show…

3.5 Before listening… see an Amazon book link… visit site to see book. Added book to Wish List.


  • Information that is compelling drives decisions and actions.
  • BlogTalkRadio gets more mind time
  • Amazon gets the sale
  • TerraCycle gets a positive reference point in mind
  • Tom Szaky gets recognition and searches. [seems like an innovational entrepreneur]

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Three I’s


Information, Insight & Influence


  • Set of facts.
  • What is the situation?


  • Why is this important?
  • How can it be useful to know?
  • What are the ideal moves or counter moves?


  • This is the strength of faith others have in your information and insights.
  • In one word: Trust.
  • If you have trust you have influence.


You build from information. You analyze it and develop insights. With experience and increasing levels of skill your insight accuracy increases. People with high levels of accuracy earn respect from peers and others. With this respect, skill and accuracy earn you influence.

Uncustomer Defined

Uncustomer: Person or organization that has not chosen you and your product or service.

They had the potential to become a customer. They have unmet needs, wants and desires [and ability to pay]. Your offering failed to compel them to buy. You came up short in delivering value.

What are you going to do about all your uncustomers?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I Love IM

You know why I love IM and live chat?

It draws out thoughts and IDEAS and those are the basis for blog posts. Conversation creates thoughts. These thoughts are part analysis and part imagination. It’s analysis because problems are frequent topics of discussions. Imagination is part of it too because some problems require different methods. New problems sometimes require entirely new ways are developing solutions.

Situations and circumstances require thinking. Follow up questions in IM can clarify any misunderstandings. Answers and solutions are not one size fits all. Each problem is different and must be thought of as unique in the thinking and idea phase [where you are listening]. If you think you have seen the problem before it is fully explained, you better listen a little longer and clarify all critical points. Any of these points, if misunderstood may drastically reduce the effectiveness of any proposed solution.


Who is Hiring?

People with money are hiring. Who are these people with money?
We call them customers [or prospects in sales speak].

Find their wants and needs. Serve them. Create a customer. Market to them, then innovate your product or service. Innovation drives prosperity.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Work at Home Spam Scam?

Sure looks that way to me.

Read and come to your own conclusions.


Quickly make an incredible 159 for very easy typing tasks
that you can finish in your sparetime.

[Ed: Link removed]

Undoubtedly, this is the best method of getting incredible
revenue without commuting. Unique skills aren't needed
whatsoever nor is any marketing called for.
Earn topnotch revenue daily by just finishing short forms
on the web and then get comfortable and wait for your pay.

[Ed: Link removed]

Sick to death of the endless parade of flashy scams,
fishy gimmicks and bad programs that just don't work?
Want superb income by using an amazingly reputable
and tested program? You've found it!
In 7 days time you can make an incredible 1680 for
simple work that is so uncomplicated that anybody
can manage it with absolute ease.

[Ed: Link removed]

If it were only so easy?

Monday, March 16, 2009

U.S. Congress & AIG


Since the Federal Government has taken a controlling stake [80% ownership] they should talk less and take action on their investment. Talk is cheap. These elected representatives talk like they have no responsibility. They [we] own 80% of the firm. They [Congressional reps] ARE the board of directors. Management works for them.

Board of Directors... tell management how you want things done. This grand standing is dumb. You have power and control. Stop pretending you don’t.

Would taking action hurt your reelection prospects?

Number of Spam Emails

Noticed that the number of spam emails Gmail has filtered out is 1981. This is over the past 30 days. It is also a considerable drop from recent numbers. It had peaked above 3000 at some point in the past six months.

What are you seeing regarding spam emails?

Five Gallons of Pennies

What does 5 gallons of pennies look like?

See nearby picture. Never try rolling a full five gallon jug of pennies. The sides are not as strong as the bottom.

January 2009 004

It took the better part of two decades to acquire this many pennies. As you can see the jug broke and created a very big mess. Each gallon of pennies is approximately $50 [total was a little more than $250]. The credit union had an industrial coin counter. It probably took less than thirty minutes to count them all.

Detroit Tweetup #tweetea

Goldfish Tea: Royal Oak, MI

Random March 09 009

This tweetup is currently each Tuesday evening starting between 7 and 8pm.

View Larger Map

You can use the #tweetea hashtag to follow along.

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

  1. About ten years ago I was a certified master mechanic in Michigan.
  2. A few years ago I graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing.
  3. Helped a friend move from Anchorage, AK to Detroit, MI. [Approximate map]
  4. I run almost every single day. Went 694 straight days of running one mile or more.
  5. Was an editor for Guy Kawasaki’s book Reality Check. This opportunity came via Twitter. Turn to page xix in the book for more details.
  6. Fixed a bicycle U-lock for Guy Kawasaki from 2,000 miles away. Read the blog post about it here.
  7. Each month I review 10,000 + posts in Google Reader. Current stats: “From your 331 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 11,325 items, starred 49 items,shared 72 items, and emailed 44 items.”

Tagged 7 friends to write their own “7 things” post. They are as follows:


The rules are simple. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post.  Simply share seven facts about yourself in the post.  Tag seven people at the end of your post and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogging: A Year of Posts

Just realized that this blog was started a year ago. It came about from Fast Company and how they had a platform for blogging set up. This platform proved not to my liking and it lead me to Blogger.

First blog posted here was “START Theory” from March 2, 2008.

Fast Facts

  • In 12 months there were 164 posts [March 2008 – February 2009]
  • About 13 posts per month
  • Most posts for a month was April 2008 with 28
  • Fewest posts were for October and April 2008 with 8 in each.

Do you blog?

If not, why not?

If so, why?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shifting Consumer Choices and Preferences

Food is something that is bought on a regular basis by consumers. Each shopping trip is an opportunity to present a mix of products to the consumer.

Target and Walmart have a goal to increase visit frequency per year . Another way of stating this is they want there to be fewer days between visits. It’s a lot easier to close a sale with a customer when they are in your store and already making purchases.

The statement below from the CEO of Target is a good example of what many retailers selling food are trying to do.

"We continue to invest in our food offering in recognition of its importance in driving greater frequency, increasing guest loyalty, and making Target a preferred shopping destination," company CEO Gregg Steinhafel

Three Points

  • Frequency
  • Loyalty
  • Preferred

Frequency is driven by having more items that people frequently purchase. Food and consumer products are excellent examples of items bought frequently. Selling these items at attractive prices gets consumers in the door where higher margin and dollar profit items an be presented to the shopper.

Loyalty is the trust that a retailer earns and maintains with consumers. What is the value proposition and does the retailer consistently deliver on its promise? Retailers that do, build trust and are chosen over competition if their proposition is more compelling than competitors.

Preferred is where there are two or more equally compelling choices and the consumer constantly chooses one retailer over another. There are many different factors that drive being preferred. These factors can shift very rapidly. For a time, style and value pricing was a powerful consumer preference that resonated with shoppers and drove them to Target. At some point, shoppers shifted their preferences to low price. It is in this instance, where the impression of “Every Day Low Prices” drove consumers to shift their buying behavior and choose Walmart.


What will be interesting is to see if there are other preferences that retailers and merchants can deliver a compelling message to consumers. Those that are able to effectively do so will see increasing visit frequency, loyalty and consumer preferences.


What are your thoughts on consumer preferences?