Hangout with Mark Hoppus from Blink 182

From a Google + Hangout
Hangout

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For those of you who don’t know, Mark Hoppus is bass guitarist and one of the lead vocalist for Blink 182. He is also a member of Google+ and just had a short hangout that was public, open to any fan who happened to notice and was quick enough to join in. He only hung out for a few minutes and I didn’t have a chance to join in but I am really glad that he did this.
Hangouts are an awesome feature on Google + and one that I hope more celebrities and Social Media A-listers will take advantage of.  Actually I challenge you A-listers and Celebs to use Google + as a way to interact with the fans who support you and helped you achieve the status you have today.
Let me count the ways you can do this on Google+
1. Once a week or every two weeks, randomly have a hangout that is open to everyone for 10- 20 minutes. You can talk about your latest project, open up the hangout for Q an A, or structure it however best suits you.
2. Randomly post comments in one of your followers G+ stream. I see hundreds of comments posted into your streams why not return the favor and post a comment into one of their streams?
3. Create a post where you will offer something to the first 10 commenters. Maybe you could set up a hangout with them or send them a copy of your book or a personal email. You could do the same but randomly select 5 or 10 people who have commented on a post.
4. You could select people that comment on a regular basis and create a post giving them a shout out.  Think of the followers they would gain just because you took a moment to recognize them. Heck you could even add them to one of your circles.
I am sure there a lot of creative ideas you superstars could come up with to pay it forward to your fans. Google + is the platform  to make it happen. Who will take me up on this challenge?
p.s. Look who else I just caught hanging out:
Bradley Horowitz  –  12:33 PM (edited 12:35 PM)  –

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Bradley Horowitz is hanging out with 5 people right now!

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5 reasons to participate in twitter chats

1. Find a cure for cancer

2. End world hunger

3. Resolve the budget deficit

4. End terrorism

5. Stop climate change

Ok I may be a stretching it a bit, but think of the possibilities if the right people were involved.

While none of the chats that I have been involved in have taken on such meaty subjects, I must say they are a fascinating to be a part of and I always take away something of value when I join in. My personal favorites are #LeadershipChat, #Tweetdiner, #Blogchat, and #GetRealChat. For a comprehensive list of chats and their scheduled days and times click here.

What I think is the greatest advantage to participating in a twitter chat is you get immediate feedback. Unlike putting a tweet out there that goes into a black hole never to be heard about or retweeted again (unless perhaps your name is Guy Kawasaki or Chris Pirillo) you get immediate feedback and a whole lot of RT love too.

In every twitter chat that I’ve participated in there is a real sense of community. A lot of the tweeters are regulars and it is great to see a familiar face pop up in your twitter stream. This morning when I opened up my Google+ account I saw the image below pop up twice. I am shamelessly stealing it and adding it here because I think it is a great representation of the community vibe that I have encountered in all of the twitter chats I have jumped into. Note: since I “stealt it” I feel obliged to give shout out to the originators so please click here to learn more about Edelman Digital

Last night in the tweetdiner one of the main topics of discussion was Google+ and the impact it would have on twitter. Ok we didn’t save the enviroment but it was a lot of fun and it was great to hear a variety of viewpoints from everyday twitter users. The opinions ranged from “twitter may be in serious trouble” to “it’s not likely to have much impact at all.”  Many of us thought that Facebook will feel a lot of heat and all SM needs to have their guard up because Google+ is packing heat.

So what can you expect to get out of twitter chats?

1. Make real twitter connections – I have personally made many connections that I communicate with on a regular basis. They are always responsive when I have questions or just need some feedback on something I am pondering. I think sometimes we forget that one of the main objectives of twitter or any other social media platform is to interact with others and when you hook up with a twitter chat you get it in spades.

2. Get immediate feedback on your questions – The twitter chat environment is fast and furious, however, if you have a question while everyone is enthralled in conversation, ask, be patient and don’t be afraid to ask again multiple times until you get an answer. You will get a response from somebody in the group and you can connect with them later to go into more detail if you wish.

3. Give advice to others and gain followers– If you are someone with expertise on a subject it is a great place to get the word out. Most people enter into a chat to not only socialize but to learn from others as well. If you have useful advice that you have been dying to tell anyone that will listen, a twitter chat is the place for you. If you have something to offer that others find useful, you will surely gain more followers which could ultimately lead to more business if that is your ultimate goal.

4. Get some great ideas – Believe it or not I received great advice for making fried chicken from #Leadershipchat.  The topic of dinner came up during the chat and I mentioned that I made fried chicken for the first time and it didn’t turn out quite as well as I’d hoped. After the meeting was over one of the participants tweeted me with some tips and we ended up tweeting back and forth for at least 15 minutes. It was the first time I had ever engaged with this person and now I feel as if I could fry up some mean chicken thanks to the great advice I received.

5. Meet a few people with influence – Guy Kawasaki was a guest on one of the recent #Leadership chats and he and I actually tweeted a bit after the meeting was over. It made my day because I never thought in a million years I would have the opportunity to do so. You know what? He’s a regular guy and he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.

Here is a link to the list of tweet chats one last time. Go forth and find one that sounds interesting and jump in. Who knows you just may meet one of your idols or you may be the spark in a revolution that changes the world.  Why not?

Oh and when I go to tweetdiner I like to bring gifts. Look what I brought last night: http://www.scoop.it/t/dessert-buffet

You can find me on twitter @fiercliving

How can you get on the Apple Cart?

A great big shout out to Mashable for creating the infographic seen above. Please click on the link and check out all of the great info they have on their site.

I woke up this morning to news that Apple has shattered all kinds of records in 3rd quarter earnings. My first thought was what are they doing right that we all can learn from considering today’s struggling economy? Sure Apple has had some missteps but so would any company that is growing at the rate they are. Two of their more recent issues were:

1. AntennaGate – When the iphone 4 was released the hype was off the charts until reports came out that people were having their calls dropped at a higher rate than expected. It became clear almost immediately that there was a problem with the internal antenna that was impacted by the way the phone was held in your hand. Apples fix was to provide free cases that seemed to alleviate the problem.  There was an apparent software issue that affected the 5 bar signal at times as well which was fixed by a software upgrade.

2. MobileMe – When MobileMe was first rolled out there were problems with the system crashing and configuration issues. MobileMe is being phased out with the new iCloud feature.

I have also come across several other complaints as I was researching on line including burning Ipod Nano’s, cracked laptop cases, gaps in the Ipad2, and functional problems with Mac computers and laptops. It seems like most of these are low rate of occurrence defects but it’s hard to tell without looking at Apples quality records.  My overall impression is that Apple quality is still very good and customer service, especially in the Apple Stores, is excellent ( all you Apple Haters can chime in and let me know why you disagree).

As Apples profits are surging and stock prices that seem to go nowhere but up, there are two Apple products that are getting a lot of buzz this morning. The new MacBook Air and OSX Lion are all over the internet. Most of the reviews for both are positive and will undoubtedly lead to even more sales.

The market in China is making a huge contribution to Apple sales as their products are considered a status symbol for the Chinese people. Apple is obviously doing something right and I say go Steve.

My question is why don’t more businesses benchmark the things that Apple is doing right and apply what fits into their business model to add to their bottom line in these hard times? I’m sure there are a million excuses, but you only need one reason to go for it and make it work.

One place to start is with Apple’s Business Philosophy:

There is an extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team, and these executives lead over 35,000 employees that I would call “all wicked smart”. And that’s in all areas of the company, from engineering to marketing to operations and sales and all the rest. And the values of our company are extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.

For customer service experience the Apple Stores seem to hit it out of the park every time. Yes, there are usually long lines at the Genius Bar and there are certainly things they can do to make that experience better.  The last time I went into the store and had a few questions the employees were always more than happy to assist me. I also found the new Ipads that were installed recently to help customers get information were useful and being used by many customers. There have been times when I’ve only gone in the store to validate a parking ticket and I can’t tell you how pleasant the experience is. How many times have you gone to an Apple Store and it’s the busiest store in the mall or surrounding area? Much can be learned about customer service by visiting a store and paying attention to what they do right.

In today’s economy there are no excuses for poor products and bad service. Take a look at Apple or any other company that is thriving currently and ask yourself what are they doing that I can use and make my organization better? Hint: Simplicity and Customer Service are great starting points. Instead of upsetting the Apple Cart leap on board and go for a ride.

Check out this link for more useful tips: 

LA Carmaggedon

This weekend has been dubbed Carmaggedon weekend in Los Angeles.  The 405 freeway has been shut down between the 101 and the 10 to retrofit the Mullholand Street Bridge and make modifications which will allow the freeway to be widened. It’s Saturday morning and so far the expected gridlock has not materialized. The hype has worked and everyone either left town or are staying home.

In honor of the city of Los Angeles, which seems to be in constant state of freeway gridlock, I assembled some of my favorite things about LA. What I love most, is that contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of culture in LA, the food selection is immense, and did I mention the weather. By the way I’m hanging close to home this weekend.

http://www.scoop.it/t/my-favorite-places-in-la/

What do you love or hate about LA?

It’s More Visual = Google Plus Resources

As I was going through my never ending twitter timeline I saw the following tweet and had to take a look:

GlenGilmore Glen Gilmore, Esq.
19 Essential Google+ Resources –on.mash.to/q1Sbw3 rt @mashsocialmedia
I’ve been playing around with my new toy Scoopit.com and thought I could take this post to the next level and give it a visual pop.
Have you started using Google+?

One Very Self Indulgent Post

I have been experimenting with a new website called Scoop It. It’s an intriguing site because it allows you to “Curate” from various websites. place them onto a grid in any order you desire, and publish what you have compiled.  A wonderful self indulgent thought came to mind “What if I curated my own blog site?” So I did and you can see it by clicking Jim’s best Blogs here.

What I like best about “Scoop It” is that it is so easy to use. You simply visit a website, Scoop It, and it’s immediately compiled into the specific blog you are working on. You can curate as many or as few sites as you wish.

I am sure there are many uses for Scoop It beyond the obvious. One that comes to mind immediately is to use it while conducting research on the web. Instead of bookmarking multiple sites you can scoop them into one place and have them click ready whenever you need them.  What do you think are some other uses?

As I was perusing “Scoop It” curated sites I found a couple that I wanted to high-lite. Here’s one curated by Neelima Sinha that features some great food (I’m thinking about what’s inside the refrigerator as I read through the blog posts). Here’s another one that has some very interesting fashion photography.  I hope you enjoyed my brief slide into self indulgence and consider curating your own favorite websites with “Scoop It”

A Google Plus – Scoop It Mashup

What Google+ Means For Your Business | Insight into Google+ | Scoop.it

I’m not always an early adopter to new technology or social media but I definitely wanted to be among the first group of users to surf the Google Plus wave. Kudos to Andres Duque for sending me a Gvite and allowing me to be a Beta Tester. There is so much I love about it but I’ll blog about my personal experience at a later time.

Another opportunity to Beta Test a new website fell into my lap over the weekend when I discovered Scoop it. “Scoop It” is a site that allows users a way to curate any content they find on the web and publish it for all to see.  It is very easy to use, edit, and post. I don’t think it can be easily embedded into a WordPress blog but I’v provided a link below.

I found some really great blog posts discussing the benefits and a few negatives of  Google +.  My plan was to gather up all of the links and drop them at the end of this post when I came across the Scoop It site. As I was exploring  it dawned on me that this would be a great format to present my G+ findings.  Check it out here—-> Google+ on Scoop it.  Note: once you move over to the “Scoop it” site go ahead and click on any of the articles that you are interested in viewing (it’s not just a pretty picture). 

Are you ready to jump into Google Plus? Take the poll below and see how others feel.