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Oops, I moved…and forgot to tell you.

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Forever in Beta has moved to  lizasperling.com, and I forgot to tell you. I hope you will consider visiting me there.

You can also check out Beta Bits, where I share bits and pieces of what I find interesting – you may not agree, and that is okay, too.

Raise a Ruckus: Support Whit Scott’s Rolled

When was the last time you raised a ruckus? Do you remember childhood mischief? It once came naturally to us. Doing what we loved to do because we loved to do it. Gradually we learned about the consequences of our actions and became risk-adverse. Decades later I am surrounded by start-up founders advising us to do what we love because we love to do it.  Did we forget? How do we remember? My suggestion: start by recalling what it felt like to raise a ruckus as a kid. 

Meet Whit Scott, the man behind Rolled: 32 Years of Toilet Papered Houses

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whitscott/rolled-32-years-of-toilet-papered-houses/widget/video.html     

 Are they still rolling? Whit created a Kickstarter project, to finish the story. Each of us can nurture our inner-mischief maker by helping in the following ways

  • Spread the word: Share this link everywhere.
  • Pledge a buck (or a thousand) HERE:128 people have so far! FYI, Whit needs to meet his goal for the project to get any funding.
  • Pass on the video to your childhood friends: Chances are that it will inspire some great conversations about your own ruckus-raising days.
  • Write: a blog post or share this post. 

Raise a ruckus without the risk of getting grounded, while helping the talented Whit Scott tell his story. 


 

 

Google Plus: Cross-posting To Facebook Without An Extension

July 27, 2011 1 comment
Google Plus has become a great place to share and discuss how to make Google Plus “play friendly” with other social networks. Unfortunately keeping up with the dozens of extensions and apps and ensuring their safety is time consuming. Many of the solutions are focused on cross-posting to Facebook, so here is a quick trick to post to both Google Plus and Facebook without using any new extensions or apps. It won’t work for photos or lengthy updates (50 characters is the max), but it worth taking 5 minutes to set up. 

1. On Facebook, go to your Account Settings, and select the Mobile tab.

My_account

2. Click “Go To Facebook Mobile”.

Fb_mobile


3. At the bottom of the page, you will see the option to: Upload via Email.
  • Copy the email address specific to your Facebook account 
  • Note: do not share this “secret” email address with anyone – notice I am not sharing it here

Secret_email

3. On Google Plus, create a new Circle. 
  • Name your Circle. I named mine Facebook.
  • Add a “new person” by adding the emaiI you selected on Facebook.

New_circle

Now when you want to update your status or share something on Facebook, simple select your Facebook Circle.  You can also send updates to Facebook only within Google Plus by selecting only the Facebook Circle. 

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions!  Of course – you can find me many places online, including Google Plus!

Liza Sperling
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus

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What Do Google Plus/Google+ and Turntable.fm Have In Common?

A late 20th-century phonograph console and record.

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard about Google Plus (Google+)? What about Turntable.fm? Both are recent launches that have attracted the early adopters (otherwise known as geeks). I admit that I spend hours daily on both sites, often simultaneously. While Google+ and Turntable.fm may seem unrelated, users are drawn to both Google Plus and Turntable.fm for very similar reasons – they remind us what drew us online in the first place.

Different Animals

Google Plus is Google’s new social network designed to make sharing on the web feel like sharing in real life. 

Since Google already knows a lot about the users with Google accounts, setting up relevant “circles”, or groups of contacts, and getting started is fairly easy. 


Once I got the hang of sharing photos and links and commenting on others’ posts, I noticed Hangouts. What? Press a button and hangout live via web cam with ten people at one time. I noticed Vic GundotraMichael Dell starting these hangouts, and soon I found myself in Hangouts with people I have known for years but have never met in person. Coworkers, friends and others I have met in passing on multiple networks are available real-time, for real conversations, offering an experience that previously did not exist. 

Turntable.fm is an online service labeled as a social music discovery platform. What does this mean? Users are DJ’s and can play songs in “rooms” while chatting. In truth, the real draw of Turntable.fm is not about music at all, but about combining music with real-time chat. Users are welcome to just listen or vie for one of five available DJ spots in each room organized around genres, themes or groups. Each user has an avatar and can win points when others vote on their songs, causing the room to look like a bobbing freak show. Users chat about music, but more often the  conversation moves from music to other areas of interest. It is a collaborative environment where ideas, resources and feedback are shared. In a little over a month, Turntable.fm beta users have helped transform a buggy, yet addictive experience into a reliable, yet still addictive experience.  Independent developers shared Github links to lines of code, built and rebuilt Chrome extensions, and unofficial groups organized to communicate with users when the Turntable.fm is down. Many users compare their Turntable.fm experience to  their experience in Twitter‘s early days and in IRC chats decades ago.

What is driving geeks to Google Plus and Turntable.fm for hours on end? Both are offering users exclusivity, accessibility and real-time connectivity, which is no longer easy to find online. If it feels familiar, it is because many of us felt this way once apon a time.

-Exclusivity
Scarcity creates demand, and amongst geeks this phenomenon is intensified. We love to play with “cool new stuff” first. We covet these opportunities and accept the growing pains of servers crashing (Turntable.fm) and being spammed with email notifications (Google Plus). Turntable.fm turned off new invites altogether. Google+ cleverly included the following language (see blue underline) on the Welcome Page. 

Welcome_to_google

A part of a “small group helping to test Google+”? This is music to any geek’s ears.

– Accessibility: Stakeholders Show Up, Listen & Respond
Seth Goldstein, who leads Turntable.fm is easy to find DJ’ing and chatting with users to garner their feedback. He is as accessible to me as he is to the CEO of a major record label. Vic Gundotra, who is leading the charge at Google Plus, is among dozens of Googlers active on Google+ responding to feedback and answering questions real-time. Vic’s Hangouts fill up instantly with those eager to speak to him face to face via web cam. The feedback is welcomed both formally and informally, and users know their opinions are valued, because developers are implementing changes at a fast clip. Part of the draw to both experiences is discovering new changes each day and feeling as if your participation drove action.

– Real-Time Connectivity
If you feel like it is noisy online and that you cannot be heard, you are not alone. Social networks have become pretty isolating and, even at times, creepy. Many of us who found connectivity on Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook, IRC, etc…are drown out by the crowd and noise as the technology is adopted by those who do not value connectivity. People are tired of shouting, filtering and adjusting settings. Play a song while DJ’ing on Turntable.fm, you are likely to get immediate feedback, both in the form of votes and chat. Post a link to an interesting article or even a photo of the burrito you had for lunch on Google+ and others respond more frequently and faster than on Facebook or Twitter. Both Turntable.fm and Google+ may fall victim to the spam and noise that has lowered response rates on other networks, but for now both offer users real-time connectivity with real people.

In hindsight, the attraction of both Turntable.fm and Google Plus seems obvious. Each offers something that is unavailable elsewhere. The real question remains: Can Turntable.fm and Google Plus scale to become commercially viable while continuing to offer users the same experience? What do you think? I don’t know the answer, but I will stay tuned.

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Rules or Excuses?

I love to write. As a kid, I shared my writing freely, until something changed. I learned grammar, rules, and that there IS an appropriate salutation for a former President of the United States. I found comfort in my copy of The Elements of Style…Okay I gripped it until my knuckles were white.

Rules matter, but for many, myself included, the rules become cozy excuses. Instead of publishing a wobbly blog post, I save it for a final proofread. In reality, that post joins piles of unpublished posts reminding me that sometimes rules are just cop outs.

This post is going live. Now. No excuses.

Magic Eight Ball

Picture of the face of a magic 8-ball taken by...

 

Maybe you did not get the memo, the emails are stuck in your automated filters, or you are ignoring the obvious signs? Maybe you have heard it, but you don’t want to believe it? I will say it again: traditional demographics are dead. The data which once acted as a crystal ball and offered insight into what consumers buy and why, is no more helpful than a Magic Eight Ball. In fact, a Magic Eight Ball will set you back far less than the cost of a single focus group.

There is good news, though. Consumers are telling anyone who cares to listen what they do and don’t want, why they want it and how much they are willing to pay for it. Is this information manageable, neat, obvious or always actionable? No. Is it useful? Yes. Revolutionary? Yes. Thought provoking? You bet. Those who are waiting for the perfect, tool, product or solution to change their marketing strategies, will be, errrr, waiting a long time…Even imperfect processes are superior to relying on antiquated methodologies. 

How Did We Get Here?

I never thought I would say, “Today I was on a panel with Tac Anderson.”…, but today I was on a panel with Tac Anderson. When I found Tac Anderson on Twitter a couple of years ago, I did not envision ever meeting him in person. How did I get here? How did I go from reading Tac’s blog posts to sitting beside him offering up my opinion at a conference?

Many people downplay the effort required to switch careers and find full time employment in an evolving space, as if they took a completely different path by accident. Today alone, I heard all of these explanations:

  • Low barriers to entry
  • Couches to crash on
  • Luck
  • Serendipity
  • Twitter

Bull…

Sara Lingafelter answered how she went from being a divorce attorney to driving social media at REI in three words: I said yes. Sara nailed it. Most of us got here by saying yes. Over and over and over.

Put another way, we got here by showing up. The only secret to social media is that most of the good stuff happens offline. Like sharing ideas over lunch, as shown in the photo taken by Tac Anderson below.

5794584314_308e8dc5bf_m


Yes, grown ups having lunch sitting on the floor of Microsoft Conference Center. This is work. This is play. This where personal and professional lives blur. This is the path I chose, and I did not get here by accident. None of us did.

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