Personality Types and Change Management
Oct 1 2012

Organizational alignment, managing change, and/or getting ready for company growth is not easy.  Companies who spend time addressing organizational health definitely have a competitive advantage.  One way to help assess health is to help management and everyone on the team understand their strengths and weaknesses.  I’ve written on this blog several times about self analysis and assessments from Strengths Finder 2.0 to career inventory tests to reading tons of articles fiction or non-fiction based.

One tool that many companies and business schools use is Myers-Briggs.  I have taken that assessment 3 times and each time I am an ENTJ.  I recently took it again as part of a management team exercise and my T was softer (probably due to the tons of heart related work I’ve done) and my J was stronger (probably because I’ve had to rely more on my planning skills with 2 kids, working full time, consulting part time, and attempting to work on my music).

Below is an infographic on Myers-Briggs Personality Type and Social Media Usage and here are some other interesting articles having to do with how people process decisions and change:

Ten Reasons People Resist Change

7 Social Psychology Studies to Help You Convert Prospects into Paying Customers

Making Choices: How Your Brain Decides

Author: | Filed under: diversity, entrepreneurship, singing, social media, social networks, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Social Marketing Rockstar Tour
Aug 21 2012

Today I attended the Marketo Social Marketing Rockstar Tour event in Austin for my company, Bulldog Solutions.  Marketo sells one of the leading marketing automation platforms that helps companies manage their marketing efforts and evaluate how qualified their leads are before they hit the sales pipeline.  It looks like they still have London and Sydney left on their tour.  It was really well attended…a packed room with 95% women attendees.  I was surprised because pretty much all of the conferences/summits I’ve attended since my career began have had 60 to 95% male attendees, unless it was a women’s conference.  That observation gelled for me the fact that I’m now working for a company that caters to the marketing industry, a field with a high percentage of women in key positions.

During the event, they focused quite a bit on the metrics related to measuring success when using social media to drive leads into your pipeline.  My accounting background made me wonder why measurement has not been a key focus until recently and my creative side said “Wow, this is really a perfect opportunity blend for my operations/numeric skills and my interest in the B2B/relationship selling experience.”  Even better was the fact that their company/logo color is purple, which is my favorite color, so I was happy to get a bunch of purple SWAG (sun glasses, speakers, cookies, water bags, etc.).

Author: | Filed under: conferences, marketing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Signal to Noise
Jan 30 2011

A couple of years ago someone I know mentioned the term ‘signal to noise’ when talking about social media and my tweet stream in particular.  His comment indicated that he thought I was putting out more noise than signal, which was probably true.  I used to tweet a lot more than I do now and he said this during South by Southwest Interactive when everyone was tweeting.  Currently, most of my tweets are just links to my blog posts.  I had already been using twitter for some time and he was new to twitter. I had close to 2,000 followers and was following maybe 700 people at the time and he was probably following 50 people so, in proportion, my tweets appeared more often in his twitter stream than most people’s appear in mine.

It’s true that social media tools have provided a platform for noisiness.  People put out a lot of noise and seemingly irrelevant information about themselves and others.  But people are noisy in person whether they are talking a lot, writing a lot, or paradoxically not saying anything at all.  There can be a lot of ‘noise’ in silence.  When I say ‘noise,’ I mean information.  Some people can decide that what a person is saying or not saying is irrelevant and dismiss it as mere noise, but, in my opinion, there is always ‘signal’ in there somewhere.  Whether we want to spend time or care to understand the signal and what it’s telling us is another thing.

Interestingly, a company called Mass Relevance (Austin Startup blog post), recently launched and funded here in Austin, seems to me to be trying to separate signal from noise based on one of the executives answers to a question in the blog post:

Q: Only a small fraction of social status messages (like tweets) get viewed. Is there real value in that data?

That’s exactly the point. More user generated and social content is being created than we can consume. The future is in finding relevance, curating for context, and syndicating this to the right audience at the right place. A good analogy of the value of all this data is like web analytics. If there’s only two web analytics report you view about your web site, is there value in the rest of the log data? Of course there is, you’re just not getting at it. We know that there’s tremendous untapped value in data, as there is in social content. The value is in how to aggregate, curate, display relevant content, create participation around the conversation, and analyze how it drives real business metrics. And it’s more than just technology. We have the expertise, service and support to make this work for large companies.

I wish them luck in finding relevant, poignant signals for their clients.  I just hope people don’t stop looking at and listening to people directly instead of just sifting through their words on a social media platform.  If you pay attention, you can pick up very strong signals directly from a “noisy” person that can help you work with and manage people and even understand your customer better than just what they write down in 140 characters or less.  As they say, close to 80% of human communication is non-verbal and never gets put on a computer screen or paper.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads
Mar 22 2008

What do 5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads have in common?  Well other than the fact that Dads are usually men, probably not a whole lot.  These are just some of the interesting things happening around the blogosphere.

5 White Men Talk About Social Media was written by Connie Reece at Every Dot Connects.  Connie is a huge presence in the world of social media especially here in Austin, yet was overlooked for a panel on Social Media the Chamber of Commerce was putting on.  She voices her frustration at women still being “invisible” even when they are playing a major role in the world of social media.   Connie got me started in blogging almost a year ago!  She is also one of the main reasons the Frozen Pea Fund initiative got started as a result of Susan Reynolds struggle with breast cancer.  Here’s a quote from her post:

This afternoon I got an email from fellow Dot-Connector Brenda Thompson with the subject line: “Five White Men Talk About Social Media.” That got my attention and I opened the email right away. …

It irked me too. It’s not like the organizers would have had to look very far to find some outstanding women to speak, and I’m not just referring to myself. In less than 30 seconds, Brenda and I came up with a list of five or six local women who would have made great panelists.

See, lists are easy to make. But women on lists are still invisible if conference organizers aren’t looking for the list.

Looking Minnesota. Feeling California and The Gaping Void Between Our Brand And Our Audience were two recent posts written by Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home.  After her recent trip to SXSW Interactive, she realized she needed to rebrand because many of her readers are not eMoms or even parents!  I love Wendy’s blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because she is open and honest about her experience as an entrepreneur and she readily shares her blogging and business tips.  We met through our blogs, had a couple of phone conversations and when we finally met in person at SXSW, it was like we just “got each other” as entrepreneurs and as moms!  I’m not sure if she has come to a decision on the new name, so go check out her posts and give her your 2 cents!

AllTop Dads launches.  Thanks to Guy Kawasaki of How to Change the World my entrepreMusings blog is near the top of AllTop Moms blogger list.  It’s a great place to go to check out all the top mommy and daddy bloggers.   If you don’t know Guy, he was once asked to interview for the CEO position at Yahoo! take on the CEO position of Google and he turned the opportunity to interview down thinking there’s no way Google Yahoo! would amount to much.  He often refers to it as his $4 billion dollar mistake, but he reflects back and realizes that instead he was able to be involved in his children’s lives, which is priceless!  

So as I said when I began this post, there isn’t much in common between these links, but all are great reads!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, dad, diversity, father, mom, mother, parenting, random stuff, social media, working dad, working father, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

SXSW Interactive – Monday, March 10, 2008
Mar 10 2008

It’s been a long, fun filled day at SXSW Interactive today.  So this post won’t be as meaty as my previous SXSW post.  I met tons of people today and many people who know me and who I know from twitter.  It was so cool to have so many people come up to me and say, ‘hey, aren’t you @aruni on twitter?’  I guess I kind of stand out in a crowd. :-)  I probably gained about 30 followers just from tweeting about the panels I attended.  Here’s a quick overview because honestly I’m kinda worn out:

The Care and Feeding of Your Startup
This panel was made up of some local entrepreneurs from Unwired Nation as well as a venture capitalist from Texas based DFJ Mercury and a couple of others.  Some key insights:

  • Someone needs to serve as the “Belief Engine” for your startup which I took to mean the “evangelist” but I thought that was a unique way of saying it.
  • Make sure your product fits into your users way of life and they don’t have to drastically change what they are doing
  • Understand if your concept is a feature or a business.  It could be a feature that expands into a business.
  • You should aim to exceed investor’s expectations.
  • 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs can’t go the distance so they really should identify a strong mentor.
  • Make sure the people you hire have ‘karmic velcro’ which means they have the fortitude to stick around when the going gets tough.
  • There are 3 key people you need in a start-up.  1 in charge of product, 1 handling business development who can close the early deals, and 1 evangelist.
  • It’s not appropriate to go to VCs in the first 2 years of a business, because in the first 2 years you are still assessing the market risk.  Almost all the VC deals that occurred with Web companies in early stage have not worked out and they are struggling to get their money back.
  • Keep two sets of books.  One you show your investors and one with even more aggressive numbers that you aim for internally.

True Stories from Social Media Sites

This panel was moderated by Guy Kawasaki, who was so kind to put my blog near the top of his new AllTop Moms site.  It was notably a panel of 5 women and 1 guy.  Two of the women were twitter pals so when I got up to ask a question and say ‘hi’ one of them was tweeting about me.

I had my son with me at this panel because he’s home for Spring Break so I wasn’t able to take a lot of notes or do many tweets because half way through he wanted to play a game on my phone!  He actually did really well, scribbled a bit, and then drew a funny looking dinosaur who he felt the need to show was pooping.  Such a funny kid!  He wanted me to go up to the mic and say something, but when I tried to get him to come with me, he got shy…he is only afterall 5 1/2.

The panelists discussed their great and not-so-great experiences using social media.  What funny and sometimes unbelievable stories they shared!

I met up with my husband after that panel and we took our son for a late lunch at Bennigan’s and then he took him home, and I went to the BlogHaus to network with more bloggers.

Online Adulation: Use Don’t Abuse Your Fans

This panel had an editor from CNET as moderator and some pretty fabulous bloggers including the infamous Dooce whose current post is called Fueled Entirely by Advil.  

I was sitting next to Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home during this panel and she was twittering away.  She had her laptop so she could do it much faster than I could so I let her take over so go read her twitter stream if you want to read all about it.

Went back to the Bloghaus after this panel and met none other than Darren Rowse (aka Problogger).  Someone took a picture of us and said he’d email it to me so I’ll post it when I get it…assuming he remembers.

Conversation Starters

This event was hosted by DELL and Federated Media and they booked the entire Iron Cactus restaurant on 6th and Trinity.  Richard at DELL was the lead blogging rep from DELL, who I had met a few weeks earlier at an Austin Tweet Up.

Because I’m twitter friends with Kim Haynes, I volunteered to help with registration since it was an RSVP only event.  Of course, that meant I had access to extra drink tickets and people wanted to get to know me! 

The key speakers were top blogger and FastCompany.tv producer Robert Scoble (aka Scobleizer) and Shel Israel of Global Neighborhoods.

I met so many twitter buds at Conversation Starters, including the famous Chris Brogan, and throughout the day that it would take me all night to type up their names.  Already, this post is longer than I thought it would be!

Stay tuned for my next SXSWi post on Tuesday’s events.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, conferences, entrepreneurship, networking, social media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Twittering About Frozen Peas
Dec 30 2007

twitterblog.gifA fascinating thing happened to me and many a folk on Twitter last week.  I went from 30 followers to over 175 followers worldwide in just over 24 hours all because of a woman known as @SusanReynolds.  Susan blogs at Artsy Asylum and started a new blog called Boobs on Ice to document her journey fighting breast cancer.  A woman who I have mentioned frequently on my blog, Connie Reece, helped start a campaign called the Frozen Pea Fund.  You can see a great interview of Connie on this particular topic called PEAS and Passion on Thom Singer’s blog.  Connie also helped start Frozen Pea Friday where people change their twitter avatars to “peavatars” in support of Susan Reynolds and to build awareness of the Frozen Pea Fund.

As I mentioned in my Social Media Mania – What’s A Gal to Do? post I joined Twitter on December 13, 2007.  Near the end of last week, I saw @lizstrauss, @princess-belle and others making challenges that they will donate money to the Frozen Pea Fund if twitterdom would help them get to X number of followers within a certain time period.   I decided to join in late on December 27 and put forth the challenge of 175 to donate $50.  I had 30 followers at the time.  It was down to the wire but just as midnight was closing here in US CST on December 28 a tweet went out to some Aussie twitter folk and I ended up with close to 180!

I would have donated even if I didn’t make it to 175.  I was having so much FUN seeing people take action based on 140 character or less tweets to help fight cancer, a worthy cause.  Talk about instant gratification for almost all parties involved!  I donated my $50 right then and there.  To me, the Frozen Pea Fund endeavor has been the best example of a social media campaign I have seen or been a part of.  Kudos to people like @conniereece for taking the time to show us how social media can be used to make a difference!

Now I’m going to see if twitter can help me find a good reference for a beginner yoga class to take in 2008.  I’ve got a lot to do in 2008 and Yoga will be a big part of it.  I even saw that they are offering a Deepak Chopra Center Yoga Retreat at the Crossings in March.

If you’d like to follow me on twitter, you can find me @aruni.   If you’d like to see how I figure out how attempt to use social media to help build awareness of my company, Babble Soft, you might want to subscribe to this blog’s feed.   If you have any suggestions on how to reach our target market, please don’t hesitate to send me your ideas…they are always welcome!

Happy New Year!  Oh and don’t forget to donate to the Frozen Pea Fund

Author: | Filed under: charities, social media, social networks, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Social Media Mania – What’s A Gal To Do?
Dec 13 2007

Wendy at eMoms at Home did a post recently where she asked her readers “How do you Use Social Media to Promote Your Business?”  I didn’t have time to answer then and I’m sure I missed out on the free books, which is OK because I never seem to have time to read any books these days.  I’ve had a few days off from software testing, so I figured I’d do a post about it.

There are so many aspects to social media that it’s tough for an entrepreneur to keep up.  I mean we still have to sleep!  Fortunately, I’m fairly social.  I mentioned on a post that Liz Strauss did recently called Business and Life: Are You Making the Most of the Conversation? that “I am a Participant, rarely a Lurker, and often a Listener.”

It is fun making friends all over the world and it’s easy to be social from behind your computer when it fits with your schedule.  In the past I resisted joining sites like facebook because of the time commitment

To do a social network right, I figure it means committing significant time to it.  When you are launching a start-up, planning to raise funds, taking care of kids, maintaining a house, etc., it’s not easy to be as active as one should be in these networks over time.  But so far it’s been fascinating to see how other people interact with the networks.  I mean can you believe that facebook has over 55 million users all over the world?  That is amazing!  So here’s what I’ve done and what I’ve observed:

I started this blog (it had a different name before) with the help of Connie Reece. She gave me the kick start I needed! I think I did my first post back in May 2007. The blog has been fun and I know it has driven some additional traffic to my company site, Babble Soft, but to date I haven’t seen that it’s resulted in more than just a few additional sales. As a result of having a blog, I joined MyBlogLog, FeedBurner, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Digg, and BlogHer. Wendy was also kind enough to invite me to join the Home Business & Entrepreneur FeedBurner Ad Network. I haven’t made much money from these particular ad networks (maybe in total $100) but it has given me exposure to other bloggers and made me aware of other businesses.

I entered some competitions to hopefully win prizes and get additional exposure. I can’t remember all of them but I know I did one at Alpha Moms and I just entered Intuit’s Just Start challenge where I have the potential to win $50K for my business! The ‘vote for me’ widget will be on the right hand side of my blog until shortly after their voting deadline of December 16. After I sent an email to some friends asking if they would vote for me, I found out that people had to log in to do so. Knowing how much I hate to create unnecessary logins, my guess is that I won’t win on votes, but I might win in the unique idea category and because we have jokingly referred to our Baby Insights application as “Quicken for Baby.” :-)

I have participated in some blog memes: 8 Random Things About Me and Blogging Tip Meme. Neena just tagged me again for a My Favorite Words theme. Memes give you exposure but they are time consuming so I think after doing this last meme, I will have to put a notice somewhere to let people know not to tag me unless they let me know first because I would hate to leave a meme go unanswered. I’m answering the Favorite Word meme by bolding my favorite words in this post (in case you were wondering why some of the words are in bold text). Isabella at Change Therapy I hope that’s OK with you! What do these words say about me? I guess that I’m a driven, committed, somewhat zany, looking to learn, searching for connection/peace, sleep deprived, mom-ified, and sometimes creative.

I joined LinkedIn. I’ve found LinkedIn to be useful for business related networking…for answers to specific questions. I haven’t yet established a deal or attempted to look for employees there which I hear is what it’s meant for. I’ve been able to answer a few questions on LinkedIn but I don’t think I’ve contributed to the increase of anyone’s business yet.

I joined facebook. Mostly to learn from the king of social networking sites. I may do some targeted ads there some day when time and money permit.  I also set up a company page on facebook for Babble Soft.

I engaged a full service SEO/SEM firm.

I just joined twitter. I even added the little widget to my sidebar, and I integrated it with facebook. I really resisted joining twitter. I had no idea why anyone would be interested in my day to day activities. More importantly I didn’t think I would be interested in anyone else’s day to day activities! I already have about 20 followers. You may be wondering what pushed me over the edge and made me join twitter…well it was the Duran Duran concert I attended earlier this week. I was there and I suddenly thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could tell my friends and random strangers about the fact I’m at this cool concert?’ and then all of a sudden I “got” twitter! Will it result in additional business? I’m not sure. Time will tell.

I have not yet joined MySpace or YouTube (but I’ve been to the site many times).  If I had to guess, I will probably join YouTube before MySpace, but first I need to create some videos!

Overall, I think I’m still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building a powerful online network and I’m a little bit afraid of getting in too deep and getting stuck in a networking hole somewhere.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but it’s a fear I face nonetheless.  Maybe I’ll find peace there instead.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, blogging, competition, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, feedburner, networking, seo, social networks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »