What to do BEFORE you make your Facebook Timeline Public

Earlier today, I gave a talk to DandB employees where I shared what they should know about Facebook Timeline.

I got some great questions (and feedback) from the folks who showed up and the talk inspired my latest blog post on the Credibility Insights:  5 Things to Check Before Making Your Facebook Timeline Public.

(and thanks to Jess for taking the photo!)

Can you safely jump off a moving freight train?

In college I had a friend who was very much into hopping freight trains. So much so that he wrote his thesis for his Cultural Anthropology major on the hobo lifestyle… (and if I remember it right, he was the editor of a popular ‘zine for hobos.)

I learned one really valuable lesson from this friend on my first “ride” down the California coast: He showed me how to get off a moving train. You have to wait until it slows down to about 20 mph or slower and then slowly navigate down one of the ladders on the side of a grainer (or any or freight car) until you can “run” along the ground flintstone-style. If you try to just jump off a moving freight train, bad things can happen! But if you first run along the train, then you can get some grip on the ground and run along the train until you can safely let go of the ladder.

I start my 2012 blogging off with this story because for much of 2011, I felt like I was on one hell of a fast moving freight train and there was no chance to safely jump off. Now that 2012 is here, I’m thinking it’s time to take a deep breath, climb down that ladder, get some grip on the ground and welcome in a new year.

With that said, some great things happened in 2011… I traveled more than any other time in my life, starting dating an amazing woman, moved into a new place only blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, started a full-time gig with the most interesting startup in Southern California, and created some crazy good memories with my kids.

Suffice to say 2011 will not be forgotten any time soon.

[Also, thanks to thecoug for the great creative commons photo. It brought back some great memories of catching the trains up to Davenport!]

What does it mean to be influential online?

No doubt I’ve got all kinds of theories on how to measure online influence, and even went so far as to outline them a bit in this comment, but for now, I just thought I’d just share my excitement that Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal wrote a great article about one of the theories I’ve been working on with the D&B Credibility team and the resulting list of the most influential twitter people in the small business community.
(and if you’re interested in lots of details from an earlier iteration of this concept, check out this post: 50 Most Influential Real Estate People on Twitter)

Update:
Just noticed the WSJ published an interview that the journalist, Sarah Needleman, did for the show “Digits” about the list:

The making of a Q&A video series: CredibilityLIVE

I may have been a bad blogger here at 4realz over the past few months, but have been working away on some projects with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility team that are just now coming to fruition… and so I thought I’d share some of what’s been keeping me so busy.    While working with D&B Credibility, I’ve hired a social media outreach team, created and updated numerous social media profiles (such as our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and WordPress accounts), helped develop strategies with the business development team, played numerous ping-pong games, and spearheaded a project that’s near and dear to me: CredibilityLIVE.

Built based on my experience running Spinnio events, we designed CredibilityLIVE to be a series of monthly events where business owners will get a chance to learn from experts on issues around credit and credibility.  I’ve had the chance to have extended discussions with our first three speakers: John Assaraf, Robert Berkman and Paul Chaney, and can positively say that they’re all fascinating people who will be sure to host informative and interesting conversations!

To take part in the first event with John Assaraf, you need only show up at CredibilityLIVE at 11am PST and use the Facebook chat widget to ask questions!

Interestingly, organizing this series has been a lot more time consuming than any Spinnio endeavor to date… and included rebuilding the platform from the ground up.   The new platform has all the stuff you’d expect from a company like D&B Credibility, with an integrated registration system, white labeled video streaming, well thought out watermark design, and a top-notch marketing/PR campaign… (plus lots of testing!).

There are already over 600 people registered for the first (FREE) event with John Assaraf where he’s going to be talking about how business owners can use the latest in brain research to help reach their potential!  Please, please consider joining us and if you know someone who would be interested, don’t hesitate to invite them!  (It’s free, remember!)

By the way, for some interesting insight into what’s got me so excited to be working with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp team, check out this interview with CEO Jeff Stibel by Ben Kuo of SoCal Tech.  In the interview, Jeff gives a nice overview of the process of raising $200M to buy and grow the small business unit of D&B and the crazy hiring going on out of our Malibu office.

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Your Smart Phone

Just walked out of the first Fusion event put on by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate crew… So much fun!

I had a great time on stage yesterday with Jeff Turner, Gahlord Dewald and Wendy Forsythe talking internet marketing, building online influence, tracking and measuring results and the real value of conversations.

Also got a chance to hear some very inspiring speakers… I had never heard Tom Ferry speak, so that was a real treat… And the final keynote speaker, Keith Ferrazzi, gave an incredible talk on steps to improving business relationships.   (Did I mentioned I also got to hang with so many cool people like Andy Kaufman and Herman of Hermanity! AND that my grandma came out to watch one of my presentations! Again, so much fun!)

My involvement was to give two presentations.  The first on Building Online Influence and the second on 10 Things You didn’t Know You Could do with Your Smartphone.  Both were a lot of fun to give and since I promised the audience I’d share linkes to each of the apps I mentioned in the latter presentation, I thought I’d share them in this post. Enjoy!

Evernote
1. Take voice notes while driving
2. Scan text out of photos
3. Find your parked car

Beluga
4. Use group chat to keep up with your team

CardMunch
5. Accurately scan business cards

Amazon Price Check
6. Comparison shop

Starbucks
7. Pay for coffee

Square
8. Get paid for coffee

BoxCar
9. Get push notification for important emails

MadMimi
10. Build your email list

And I’m always looking to deliver super-informative (and fun!) internet marketing presentations, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you hear of an interesting opportunity!

[updated] NAR Presentations on WordPress and Social Media Optimization

*** UPDATED ***

Even better than the slideshare presentations, NAR just published the video recording of my Getting Started with WordPress presentation. If you’re interested in learning about why and how to get involved in using WordPress for your business website, I did my best to explain here:

**********

It’s been a busy few weeks since returning from New Orleans and I’m just now getting around to posting my presentations on Slideshare.

I was pleasantly surprised at the interest in my talk on social media optimization…  It was one of my simpler presentations as I focused on only two concepts:

  1. How you can get more value out of Facebook once you understand Networking Engine Optimization (NEO) and
  2. How you can get value out of tools like Gist by focusing on building and enhancing the relationships that are most important to your business.

Here’s the presentation in full:

The second presentation was the opening session for the Real Estate WordPress Camp that I helped organize with NAR… and what a great event that turned out to be.   Some great speakers and I heard nothing but great feedback from the audience.   My presentation for this event was really just meant to describe how professionals can use WordPress as their online marketing hub… and in particular how it can fit into the various elements of an agent’s business cycle.  Here it is:

Interestingly, in the last few days, I’ve started to nail down more than a few speaking engagements for this upcoming spring. I’m always interested in educating professionals on how to get the most value out of their online marketing, so if you know of someone looking for a speaker, don’t hesitate to reach out!

[by the way, the header image is from Reggie and NikNik’s great presentation during Real Estate WordCamp on Leveraging WordPress Plugins and Themes]

Getting more value out of your LinkedIn connections…

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how to get more value out of LinkedIn, but I really haven’t given enough love to the site since them…  And I have an idea for how to change that.  Starting this week, I’m going to start writing one recommendation each week.

I’m starting this “recommendation” project with Kris Berg because she’s one of my favorite people in the world of real estate…  (Plus she doesn’t have many recommendations on LinkedIn which is a true shame!   If you know and like her, you should stop reading this post and head over to her profile and write a recommendation for her as well!)

Why commit to writing a weekly recommendations?

I have two purposes:

  1. It’s fun.  I really do enjoy the process of complementing folks who I’ve enjoyed working with and wish I did more of it.
  2. I want to play more with LinkedIn as a sphere building tool, but don’t want to dedicate a ton of time to the project.  I’m guessing I can knock out a solid recommendation in less than 20 minutes a week.

With that said, there’s so much more to LinkedIn these days with groups, Q&A, job opportunities, etc. that I’m sure there’s much more I *could* be doing.     If you have a more effective way to use LinkedIn, please share!  😉

Real Estate WordCamp is Coming to NARdiGras!

I’ve been working with the NAR team to put together a WordPress event at NARdiGras, and couldn’t be more excited that we’re ready to start announcing details!

In a nutshell, we’ve broken the half-day event into two tracks — one for beginners and one for more advanced WordPress users — and the folks we’ve agreed to present are some of the most knowledgeable WordPress people in real estate.  All the sessions will be be on the morning of Monday, November 8th.

Below is a summery of the schedule, although this page on the NARdiGras site will quickly become the definitive source of all session information soon!

Track 1: An Introduction to WordPress

Track 2: Maximizing WordPress

The idea is that if you’re relatively new to WordPress (and even if you don’t have a wordpress site yet!), you should be able to leave the first track with enough knowledge to feel comfortable setting up a site and have an idea for what a successful website marketing strategy would look like.

For those who are comfortable blogging, Todd Carpenter is going to be hosting the Maximizing WordPress track. With Kelley, Steve and Gahlord as presenters, you’re sure to get tons of tools and strategies to take your online marketing to the next level.

I couldn’t be more excited to be heading to New Orleans again and look forward to seeing you there!

A WordPress High at Real Estate Connect!

I know I’m a bit biased because the Inman team has been good to me, but I really love the Real Estate Connect events.  So much fun!  And a day after hosting the WordPress Workshop I’m just now coming down off the high.

Here’s a few of the photos I took of the session!   So much fun!

The entire workshop was recorded and I’m pretty sure will be available to Inman News subscribers in the near future…  Such an awesome group of presenters.  Thanks to all!

Here was the workshop schedule along with links to learn more about the various speakers:

8:30am – 9:10 am
Waaaaay Beyond the Blog:
Kickass Theme Development

Speakers:

  • Chris Pearson, Founder, Pearsonified & DIYThemes.com, @pearsonified.
  • Peter Ricci, Co-Founder, AgentPoint, @peter_ricci

9:15am – 9:40am
Plug Ins You Must Have to Rock a Real Estate Web Site

Presenter:

  • Reggie Nicolay, Director of Social Media for Realtors Property Resource, @ReggieRPR. MyTechOpinion

9:45am – 10:10am
Listings Liberation – How to Display Listings on Your WordPress Site For Maximum SEO Value

Presenter:

10:15am – 10:40am
Using WordPress As Your Online Hub

Presenter:

  • Chad Parizman, Director, Emerging Ventures at Scripps Networks Interactive, @cparizman. TooManyCaps

10:45am – 11:30am
Going Beyond the Blog – Advanced WordPress Installations

Speakers:

11:35am – 12:00pm
Future of WordPress

Presenter:

  • Jane WellsUX Lead, WordPress & Automattic, @janeforshort