Tuesday Travels: How to Use Social Networks

Allied Telesyn switches in rack

Allied Telesyn switches in rack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personal Branding Online – Look good (and be searchable) in Google, LinkedIn, and 13 other social sites.

New Twitter Profile Tools – Add a header photo, and it will show across platforms (mobile and desktop). Swipe or tap through shared photos in a stream.

Connecting Your Google Plus and YouTube Account – They’re becoming more and more integrated, here’s a detailed post (and video) from Ronnie Bincer on what this means and how to use it to promote yourself.

Social Listening and Crowd Sourcing– If you have a great idea, should you share it?  Or keep it to yourself?  Tips for CEOs and business owners on interacting online (this is a recording of an hour-long Google Plus Hangout by TekPersona).

Tuesday Travels: Five Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible

English: A variety of exotic potatoes, Union S...

exotic potatoes at the Union Square Greenmarket(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Potatoes are ordinary, but the colors and shapes of these potatoes help make them stand out. Here are some ways your business can stand out too.

How a small hotel beats the big chains at SEO and content writing – just because you don’t have a huge budget doesn’t mean you can’t win at marketing.  Find out how.

Asking the right questions – the questions you ask yourself (and your clients) can make a big difference in the results you get (and the money you make)

The best marketing approach – why the truth is what counts (and hype doesn’t).

Marketing yourself at a networking event – we all go to them, but how do you get the most of your time (and money)?

 Marketing mistakes you can easily avoid– when you’re busy, or overworked, it’s easy to get things wrong.  Here are three things you should focus on getting right.

(By the way, I’ve been gone because of a family medical crisis.  Everything’s settled down now – I hope!).

Tuesday Travels: How to Apologize

Sorry on Australia Day-sky writing

Sorry on Australia Day-sky writing (Photo credit: butupa)

We all screw up. We don’t like it, but it happens. Sometimes though, we can learn from the mistake. Here are some lessons on the right (and wrong) way to do it.

First, the screw-up that got worse and worse.
Bad Taste Tweet About Aurora – A fashion company saw a hashtag trending on twitter (and didn’t bother to check why). They eventually apologized, but not very well (the explanation was outsourcing).

Here’s a better example:
Sorry I made a mistake – John Jantsch messed up his memorial day sale…but had the sense (and the guts) to recognize it, and apologize.

Then, there’s recovery from someone else’s error (and being kind, rather than nasty in a legal situation):
Jack Daniels cease and desist – This is probably the nicest cease and desist letter ever written. While there may be a fair use case, this is better. Smart too, because it’s undoubtedly cheaper, and gets them lots of goodwill (like this link, and the articles about the letter).

Turn a Nightmare into Great PR – Here’s how Ford did it right (recalling brand-new cars with a problem), and Chick-fil-a completely fell on their faces.


Tuesday Travels: What You Need to Know About Copyright Rules

Copyright Symbols

Copyright Symbols (Photo credit: MikeBlogs)

There’s a big brouhaha over on Google+ right now.  Someone created a post (including an image with a watermark) and a quote from The Matrix. Another person took the image (and words), removed the watermark, and shared it again (without credit). The post went to the top of the “what’s hot” list.

It’s all blowing up.

So, in light of that, here are a few handy tips about copyright rules:

1.  You don’t have to specifically “copyright” something.  You own the rights to anything you write, photograph, or video yourself.

2. This does not mean you can freely use others’ trademarks or intellectual property. So, you cannot create your own drawings of Donald Duck and sell them without Disney’s permission.

3. You can often ask copyright owners for permission to use their work.  If you do receive it, make that clear in your post, book, article, photograph, or video.

4. You may quote small sections of something (such as an article or book) without asking first.  A few lines is fine.  Longer sections or an entire work (such as a poem) require permission. This is called “fair use.” You may also use others’ work if you are creating a parody (think The Daily Show, reporting for a news organization, or writing a review).

5. Sometimes, artists or writers will grant a creative commons license to reuse or share their works in specific ways. Or, they can release it into the public domain (for free use by anyone). Many (but not all) works produced by the government are also public domain.

These links should help:

US Government Copyright page – Frequently asked questions about copyright rules

Note the rules for Elvis sightings (no, I didn’t make that up).

Fair use – Rules for “fair use” explained

Public Domain – Older works become public domain after a set period of time (unless the copyright is renewed). Rules differ by country, the link is to US copyright rules.

Creative Commons licenses – A link that explains the various types of creative commons licenses.

Tuesday Travels: Get Free Stuff!

English: The New York City fireworks over the ...

English: The New York City fireworks over the East Village of New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US. Usually, this involves beer, hot dogs, barbecues, and fireworks.

However, I thought I would celebrate by offering you some great freebies.

First up, is a free copy of Guy Kawasaki’s book, What the Plus , full of tips on how to use Google+. It’s free through July 7.  Get your copy here.

Next, some free wordpress training videos with tips on how to make contact forms, using widgets, and beating writer’s block.

Then, there’s free photoshop6 training (beta version) from Lynda.com, which shows you how to use new features like auto recovery, Blur Gallery, and Camera Raw 7.

And, of course, since it’s the Fourth of July, places to watch fireworks.