Aaron Brazell

The Best of 2007

Hey everyone. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, happy Winter’s solstice, Kwanzaa and Chanukah. (Yes I know that Chanukah and the solstice are passed, but bear with me).

In light of Darren’s best of 2007, I figured I would follow suit.


  • Posts: 324
  • Comments: 2086
  • Pageviews: 1.53M
  • Visits: 558k
  • RSS Subscribers: 900+

In earlier days, I might be tempted to feel down about these numbers. After all, the numbers have not dramatically increased since last year. For instance, in 2006, I had 1.2M pageviews making my growth an approximate 20% increase from last year. My RSS subscriber base has more than doubled but my post count has plummeted from 496 posts in 2006 to 324 in 2007, a 35% drop. Comments, likewise, have dropped from 2752 in 2006 to 2086 in 2007.

The reason I don’t get discouraged about this is because of the quality of the writing, the quality of the commenting and the quality of the readership. In the past year, the one post written by anyone on any topic that stuck with me as the most relevant and interesting was a Friday Whiteboard conversation with Rand Fishkin a few months ago called Every Blog Has its Way. In this short video, Rand described six types of bloggers. Most bloggers (particularly long tail bloggers who idolize other elite bloggers and try to mimic) see really two types of bloggers – elite and non-elite. In reality, it breaks down to power blogger, the commenter, the email guru, the networker, the influencer and the forum god.

After watching that video, I realized that this blog fell into the influencer type. In other words, it’s fairly unlikely that I will ever have the massive numbers of some others in the industry, but that it is likely I will have the right people reading. Knowing that I can take two approaches: I can try futilely to do it anyway and be discouraged when I don’t succeed or I can make my play to get in the ears of strategic people. I’ve decided that the latter is the best approach.

As a result, the quantity of entries has decreased (down from 496 to 324), but the quality has increased and my readership has grown.

Specifically, my RSS subscriber base has grown. In my industry, we are an RSS savvy bunch. As a result, I know that if my RSS subscriber base over doubles, and my pageviews has increased only a fraction of that, that more of the people I want to reach are being reached. Follow that?

Good stuff. It’s always nice to analyze metrics at the end of every year. At this rate I’ll have 2000 subscribers going into 2009 and nearly 2M pages around the same time.

But back to 2007. Here are the best posts (which is a very loose hybrid that combines the number of comments with my personal favorites).













Again, thank you all for making this year bigger than previous ones and I look forward to 2008!

Pick your favorite from the list:

Venture Files

Carnival of Entrepreneurs #39: December 23, 2007

Welcome to the December 23, 2007 edition of carnival of entrepreneurs.
David presents Factoring, another way to get money for your business when banks say no posted at Gaizer.com, saying, “Factoring is a short-term loan based on the financial strength of your accounts receivable (money owed to you). Factoring is useful when you have to meet your business obligations while you wait for your customers’ payment for the products delivered or services supplied.”
Mike Buckley presents How Not to Lose posted at Mine Your Own Business.
Liz Fuller presents Holiday Lists Your Customers Will Want to Check Twice! posted at More Than WE Know, saying, “Want your customers to keep you top of mind this holiday season? Try these alternatives to traditional holiday cards.”
Samir Bharadwaj presents The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships posted at SamirBharadwaj.com, saying, “Is your website layout or blog template remarkable, and why it should be.”
Charles H. Green presents Case Study #17: Trust-based Selling in the Real World posted at Trust Matters, saying, “We’re often told to look after the customer first and sales will take care of themselves, but it’s often unclear how that actually works. Here’s a real-life example of how it does.”
Allen Taylor presents Business Investment Strategies That Work Every Time posted at Investing World Today, saying, “The secret to investment success is the consistent application of time-proven strategies, not the use of complex, hard-to-understand investment vehicles created by investment bankers out to take your money!”
Dan-O presents How to Make Real Life Money in the Second Life Virtual World posted at Danogo.com – Discover. Inspiring . Media, saying, “People are making millions of real dollars in the virtual real estate business. Are you missing out on the next Web gold rush?”
Business Insights and Ideas
Lorraine Cohen presents Business Success (and Life) Tip #12 – 15 Minute Increments posted at Powerfull Living, saying, “Learn a key strategy to maximize your time and productivity.”
Raj Sheelvant presents What’s better? Crowd Sourcing? or Expert Sourcing? posted at IT Strategy, saying, “Is crowd sourcing better than expert sourcing? Not really…”
Philippe De Ridder presents Online Innovation Tools posted at Open Innovators, saying, “The article provides an in-depth overview of online innovation tools with respect to new business ideas, brainstorming, prototyping, funding, and business development.”
Mike Buckley presents The Golden Calf? posted at Mine Your Own Business.
David presents Bank Loans Basics, a Brief introduction to all loan types and how they can help your business posted at Gaizer.com, saying, “There are many types of loans available, the following is a brief list of all loans, what they are and what can they do for your business.”
David presents How to get a Business Loan posted at Gaizer.com, saying, “Loans are a time-tested way of raising capital for your business. We would love to tell you that it is as easy as going to the bank and asking for money, but as you probably know by now it is quite the opposite. Some banks.”
Scott Fusco presents Thinking big vs. Thinking small posted at Personal development coaching | Scott Fusco . net, saying, “***PLEASE NOTE*** I have already submitted this post a few days ago but the URL has changed. Please ignore the previous submission, this is the updated URL. I apologize for the confusion and appreciate your time and effort.  

Scott Fusco”

Steve Bainbridge presents The Complete Guide to SOX: An Excerpt posted at Professor Bainbridge’s Business Associations Blog, saying, “We’ve posted an excerpt from my book, The Complete Guide to Sarbanes-Oxley. Here’s the abstract:  

Turning 5 is a major milestone, whether one is talking about a child, a wedding anniversary, or a piece of legislation. As the Sarbanes-Oxley Act approaches age 5, it’s appropriate to look back at how the Act has affected American businesses and also to look forward to assess future trends. After all, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act had the biggest impact on American business of any federal securities legislation since the New Deal.

Understanding how Sarbanes-Oxley works and the demands it makes on corporations is especially critical for directors and managers of smaller public corporations.”

Ryan Ambrose presents Why Write an Ebook? posted at The Self-Reliant Post, saying, “Why is an ebook a great product idea? Read about it here.”
Mitch McDonald presents Marketing Plan: A Business Necessity posted at FYI About.com.
Ed Rivis presents Ethical Internet Espionage. posted at Ed Rivis.
Woody Maxim presents What’s making me money? right now posted at Woody Maxim.
Anne Newell presents Chicks with Checks posted at Chicks with Checks, saying, “Discover the benefits of social networks and for not for profit giving circles.”
David presents Gaizer.com Tips for Business Start-ups | Helping you Start your own business » International Trade Loan posted at Gaizer.com, saying, “The International Trade Loan is designed to increase presence in the export market or international trade, or increase local efficiency on markets effected by import competition.”
David B. Bohl presents Achievement: Chasing the Big Score | Slow Down Fast Today! ~ David B. Bohl posted at Slow Down Fast Today!, saying, “Do you spend a lot of time chasing the next big deal, the next big success? Some people call it the Big Score. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about when I say “˜Big Score.'”
Michelle Cramer presents Communicating Competence posted at GreatFX Business Cards, saying, “Though your personality has a lot to do with it, people often judge by what they see first rather than what they hear. So it’s important that you portray competence in your business industry not only in your knowledge and performance, but also in how you convey yourself.”
Carol Bentley presents Lets be frank about stamps posted at Carol Bentley.
Charles H. Green presents Tony Blair and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis–It’s the Basics posted at Trust Matters, saying, “We tend to forget that business success comes from executing the small things well — from singles, not homers.”
David presents Gaizer.com Tips for Business Start-ups | Helping you Start your own business » Quick Guide to Create an E-Commerce Website posted at Gaizer.com, saying, “1st Reserve your domain name. The domain mane is the address people write on the hypertext tab of the browser. The domain name should be your company’s name or descriptive of your company business.”
James D. Brausch presents Some Competition From The Ranks posted at jamesbrausch.com.
Jim presents When To Kaizen posted at The Kaizen Business.
Warren Wong presents How To Win Someone?s Heart posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Do you want to win someone’s heart and gain their trust and loyalty? Here are some tips on how to go about doing it.”
Nikole Gipps presents The Art of Quitting posted at Small Business Essentials: News, Tips and Advice, saying, “Quitting is often just as important as early successes in the life of an entreprenuer. I discuss the psychology behind it.”
Robert Phillips presents Get More Traffic Automatically posted at CYBERCA$HOLOGY.
Richard Lee presents Your Product Idea Incubator posted at Richard Lee.
James D. Brausch presents Get Out Of The J.O.B. Trap posted at jamesbrausch.com.
Paul Heingarten presents Blog Update posted at PRH Solutions Blog, saying, “An update on how I’m using blogs to make money online.”
Steve Bainbridge presents Why Starbucks Doesn’t Franchise posted at Professor Bainbridge’s Journal, saying, “This post – Why Starbucks Doesn’t Franchise – asks why Starbucks uses a company owned store model, while Subway uses franchises. What are the transaction cost differences that explain the difference in business models?”
Steven Lafler presents Adventures in Self Employment posted at Self Employment for Bohemians, saying, “Steve Lafler is a successful entrepreneur offering advice on working for yourself.”
Tony H presents Don’t Get Money Worshiper Syndrome posted at The Scholarpreneur, saying, “On your road to success, beware of the Money Worshiper Syndrome. Keep money in it’s proper place.”
Sam presents Small Business Startup. Strategy and Planning for Small Business. ! Surfer Sam posted at Surfer Sam and Friends, saying, “Strategy and planning for your first business. Brainstorming the product or service. Analyzing the market, finances, business operations and risk.”
Mike Buckley presents Pink eye posted at Mine Your Own Business.
Lorraine Cohen presents Letting Yourself Have Outrageous Success and Personal Happiness posted at Powerfull Living, saying, “How often do you say no to the people and things that would increase your business success and personal happiness? Learn key tips to change your nos to YES!”
John Crickett presents The Top Ten Internet Business Ideas posted at Business Opportunities And Ideas, saying, “A review of what I believe are the top ten new business ideas made possible by the advent of the Internet.”
B.H. presents How to Make Money Off Interest Free Credit Card Offers posted at Bentley Humphreys, saying, “There are obviously a countless number of ways to invest money these days, however one is so fascinating we decided to test it out here at boozwatt.com. It’s called credit card arbitrage. It involves utilizing funds garnered from no interest credit card offers, and investing the money in various traditional avenues. Here’s how it works….”
Steven Lafler presents Should I Grant Credit to my Clients? posted at Self Employment for Bohemians, saying, “Granting credit to your clients can be a Pandora’s box of trouble, or a great way to expand your business. Here’s some tips on getting it right.”
Dominic Tay presents Your 4 Steps on Accepting Failures towards Success posted at Personal Development Blog for Winners, saying, “Admitting your failures can be really difficult especially if you’re thinking that others may criticize you. Most people may think that accepting failures is a sign of weakness and to avoid failures, you must be too careful not to miscalculate your decisions. But is that really the issue? Very unlikely! The truth is that you actually need 4 strategic steps for you to be a successful person, an entrepreneur of your own life towards success. Now if you’re ready to brace the reality that everybody commits mistakes and that most people fail before they succeed, read on for you’ll discover the 4 secrets of personal development toward success.”
Silicon Valley Blogger presents How Do You Plan To Get Ahead? Ways To Increase Your Income posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Thank you!”
Larry Russell presents Publish your blog news articles on traditional media center and newspaper websites posted at THE SKILLED INVESTOR Blog, saying, “Bloggers can get published on media and newspaper websites. Newspapers are picking up web content through blog content consolidation companies. My blog articles get republished regularly through one such effort, BlogBurst.com BlogBurst screens established bloggers, and then they place certified bloggers’ real-time blog content onto multiple traditional media websites.”
Michelle Cramer presents The Psychology of Pricing posted at GreatFX Business Cards, saying, “There is more to deciding what to charge for your product/service than simply picking a price that covers your overhead and makes a little profit. You have to take into consideration the thought process of your average customer and the psychology of pricing.”
wilson ng presents SME #5 -Creating a Brand Premium posted at Reflections of a BizDrivenLife, saying, “There are generally three ways you can position your company ““ either provide products or services that are better, faster or cheaper. Normally, you cannot be all three ““ and you have to choose which is your competitive advantage.  

At the end, ‘better’ is a more sustainable strategy than ‘cheaper’ and you should always strive to create a business based on a focus on ‘brand premium’ rather than ‘lowest price’.”

James D. Brausch presents Joint Ventures posted at jamesbrausch.com.
Inspire Me!
Silicon Valley Blogger presents Why The Rich Get Richer: An Entirely Different Perspective posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Some thoughts on wealth and how many of the wealthy are business people.”
GreatManagement presents Great Inspiration Articles posted at The GreatManagement Blog.
Scott Fusco presents Thinking big vs. Thinking small posted at Personal development coaching | Scott Fusco . net, saying, “This post highlights the advantages and disadvantages of thinking big and thinking small. It discusses when to think big and when to think small.”
Ralph Jean-Paul presents Dreaming of Success posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, “Can your daydreams really help you succeed? Many successful people have attributed their success to their ability to see their success before they are a success.”
Harrison presents Double Your Speed to Success By Finding a Mentor posted at Journey To Financial Freedom, saying, “This is an article that talks about my personal experience in finding and getting a mentor for my journey to financial freedom. If you want to double your speed of success, avoid the unnecessary mistakes and do the correct things to achieve the right results faster, then you must read this article as I will provide tips choosing and finding the right mentor for yourself.”
Liz Fuller presents Friends are Vital to Small Business Success – More Than WE Know – Information, Inspiration and Support for Women Entrepreneurs posted at More Than WE Know, saying, “Research has shown that a key to employee engagement is having a best friend at work. Where does that leave the solo entrepreneur who often labors in isolation? This article identifies the role that friendship plays in small business success.”
Mike Buckley presents Motivation posted at Mine Your Own Business.
Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents Gary Halbert Recommends posted at Rebecca Dean.
Warren Wong presents How To Feel Better And Be Happier posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Some practical tips you can use now to feel better and be happier.”
Richard Ingersoll presents Using Vibration to Manifest Your Ideal Life posted at Applying the Law of Attraction, saying, “The entire physical world is nothing but a sea of vibrating particles. We talk about “good vibes” and “bad vibes”, but what does that really mean? How can we use the knowledge of vibration to create the reality we desire?”
GP presents Fueling the Fire of Passion « Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range posted at Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range, saying, “Making a life is as important as making a living. It’s not an either-or decision. values and purpose – not great products – defined successful businesses.”
Online Success
Andrew Erickson presents Are you making this PPC mistake? posted at WebSite Werx.
Christine presents The Exchange Rate – The Euro vs The Dollar – The Declining Dollar posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France, saying, “Living in France off the steadily declining dollar. One woman’s experience with earning an income online via US dollars while living in France and paying in euros.”
Sutocu presents 7 Steps to Profitable Website Planning posted at Your Website Profit, saying, “A website, though an online business, is still a business. Therefore is should be planned carefully from the beginning and needs a business plan.”
Kathleen Gage presents Is Blogging Necessary? posted at Street Smarts Marketing.
Jenny presents November Earnings Report posted at the so called me.
GreatManagement presents You Can Achieve More? posted at The GreatManagement Blog.
Michelle Cramer presents Preparing Your Business for Impending Disaster posted at GreatFX Business Cards, saying, “Many of us will never have to face out of control wildfires as a risk factor for the destruction of our business, but natural disasters of every kind span the nation. And you need to make sure you’re protected.”
Carol Bentley presents Spreading the word? posted at Carol Bentley.
Woody Maxim presents Crafting an offer posted at Woody Maxim.
GP presents Who?s in Charge Here posted at Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range, saying, “Riding my horses has given me pause to reflect on this; they are great teachers for this. Reacting allows unpredictable situations and uncontrollable people to determine life’s course. We tend to look outside ourselves (aka another person or in this case the horse du jour) look for some external person or situation to blame for the unwanted reality we are experiencing.”
Aruni Gunasegaram presents Fred Wilson on Venture Capital Fund Performance posted at Entrepremusings, saying, “Venture capitalism takes strategy and work, but can be very worthwhile.”
GreatManagement presents Great Inspiration Articles 19 Nov 2007 posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, “This weeks great personal development blogs I found around the Internet cover the topics of the ‘unhabits’ of Great Managers (this one had me laughing out loud), What is Stopping You Having Success, How To Overcome Your Nerves, Being A Smart Worker, Learn More and 22 Motivational Videos.”
Vandelay Website Design presents 13 Ways to Earn the Trust of Online Purchasers posted at Vandelay Website Design, saying, “Earning trust is an important part of making money online.”  

Niharika presents Better than Monster: 50 Free Places You Can Post A Job Online and Get Top Talent posted at Bootstrapper.

David B. Bohl presents Small Business Trends Column: Entrepreneurs, Does Retirement Fit Into Your Plans? posted at Slow Down Fast Today!, saying, “The values and beliefs of the Baby Boomer generation were handed down to us from our parents, many of whom survived the post-war era and Great Depression. The underlying message became loud and clear, and formed a blueprint for life: If I just work hard enough and long enough, my life will turn out just fine “” eventually ““ and it will all be worth it in the end.

Many of us do not fit or identify with the generation we are born into.”

Cocoy S. Rambuyon presents Can Blogging Really Generate More Visitors, Buyers” posted at COCOY S. RAMBUYON.

John W. Furst presents Why Should You Write A White Paper? posted at E-Biz Booster Blog, saying, “Use white papers to promote your products and services and beat straight sales pitch by offering problem-solving, free information to your prospects. They will love you for it. Many businesses could increase their publicity and sales with this strategy.”

Yazan Manasrah presents Uncluttering your mind posted at The Blasted Crossing, saying, “Want to find out how to gain the focus and mental energy to accomplish the daily tasks you must do?”

The Career Counselor presents Six Time Management Tips for the Self-Employed During the Holidays posted at ask the CareerCounselor, saying, “Home workers and small business owners typically encounter a tricky balancing act during the holidays. You work from home, at least in part, in order to spend more time with your family, but during the holiday season self-employed folks just can’t drop everything to make way for family events and school plays. And, particularly for one-income households, holiday shopping may actually demand an increase in earnings amid all the distractions. Obviously, organization and planning are critical to making sure you meet deadlines and still have a merry holiday spirit at home. Read below for tips and ideas to help small business owners make the most, personally and professionally, out of the holidays.”

Ralph Jean-Paul presents 7 Reasons Why You Haven’t Reached Your Goals Yet posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, “Check this list of reasons why your goals have not been met then go out and accomplish those goals.”

Kingsley Tagbo presents How To Improve Your Skills And Get A Lucrative Job posted at HOW TO LEARN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING FAST OR GET A JOB EASILY.

Liz Fuller presents Have More Energy for Your Business – Delegate at Home – More Than WE Know – Information, Inspiration and Support for Women Entrepreneurs posted at More Than WE Know, saying, “The key to sustainable success is successful delegation – freeing up time and energy to focus on the parts of your business that only you can do. As entrepreneurs we sometimes forget that delegation occurs at home as well as in our business. Here are several suggestions for freeing yourself from personal tasks to enable you to devote more attention to your business.”

Kristine McKinley presents Year end tax tips for home businesses posted at Tax Tips for eBay Sellers, saying, “year end tax planning tips for small and home based businesses”

Cocoy S. Rambuyon presents Getting Quick & Good Results From PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising-Part 1 posted at COCOY S. RAMBUYON.

Tricks and To-Dos

Philippe De Ridder presents 6 Steps to Effective Crowdsourcing posted at Open Innovators, saying, “Crowdsourcing is a disruptive new trend in today’s business. This article provides entrepreneurs with 6 essential steps to effective crowdsourcing.”

Ron Ruiz presents One Roll of Stamps=$45,000 In Sales posted at The Business Ideas-Making Money Blog.

Robert Phillips presents More Than 123% Increase in Opt-Ins posted at CYBERCA$HOLOGY.

Ralph Jean-Paul presents Meet 7 People in 7 Days posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, “Looking for new clients and business contacts? There are 6.7 trillion people in the world. How many of them do you know? Meet a new person for business or social advancement each day this week.”

Woody Maxim presents Get rid of outsourced data entry workers, use macros instead posted at Woody Maxim.

Charles Eglinton presents eBay Photos Simple Studio posted at AuctionIncome.com – eBay Bidding Tips & Selling Tips.

Mitch McDonald presents Free Reprint Articles: The Secret to Increased Site Revenue posted at FYI About.com.

Andrew presents How to Become Great in any Field – Success Secrets Revealed posted at Personal Hack, saying, “I’ve made it a habit to study great people, and have been doing it now for several years. While there is no mathematical equation that guarantees greatness, there are many commonalities that are shared by great people. These commonalities don’t just apply to a particular set of fields or expertise. Interestingly if you take a person who is very successful in one field, and put him into another one usually they’ll be able to achieve a very similar level of success in the new field. Of course it might take them a year or two or even more to catch up and learn the new field. Yet after they catch up on the basic fundamentals of that new field, they usually start progressing and succeeding in it at a very fast rate.”

Andy Birol presents If we know pornography when we see it and are best judged by what we do when no one else is watching, how can we practice and preach professional integrity and ethics? posted at Birol’s Blog, saying, “A post about business ethics and integrity with three quick how-to’s”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of entrepreneurs using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Technorati tags:

carnival of entrepreneurs, blog carnival.

guest blogging

Convergencia de la Televisión y la Internet

La muestra más reciente de la convergencia de la televisión y la Internet la podemos encontrar en el siguiente gráfico de Búsquedas Calientes de Google Trends.

Este gráfico corresponde al Viernes 14 de Diciembre, durante la transmisión del programa “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (traducción: “No te olvides la letra”) en la cadena Fox.

El programa consiste en cantar canciones estilo Karaoke, hasta que eliminan las palabras de la pantalla y el participante debe completar la letra de la canción.

De acuerdo a Google Trends, las búsquedas más realizadas durante la transmisión eran precisamente para las letras de las canciones que aparecieron en el programa (todas las búsquedas que dicen “lyrics”). Es obvio que un número importante de televidentes usaba Google simultáneamente para determinar si los participantes habían respondido correctamente.

El “teleinternauta” consume ambos contenidos a la vez, tomando lo necesario de cada medio para lograr una experiencia más completa. No me extrañaría que mientras ven televisión y consultan Google, también se mantienen en contacto con sus amistades a través de Twitter.

Aaron Brazell

More of the Same in 2008; Or: We ain't no Seesmic

It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting here at Reagan National Airport awaiting a flight to Toronto. This is my last business trip of 2007 and… when I return home on Wednesday, I’m only looking at another two business days before I entirely knock off for the year. I’ll probably blog, but no b5media (if I can help it), none of my “mini-gigs”, and generally, no social media. I say that now, of course.

I figured it was a good time to look at what you can expect from this blog, and more specifically me, in 2008.

More Travel

I traveled more than I ever did before in 2007. Met some great people from the social media community. Reacquainted myself with others. Engaged in my first public speaking engagements. In essence, 2007 for me was about a definite maturing in my professional profile. I haven’t always executed well. Some people may not like me. Others might think I don’t like them. But, I’m happy with where 2007 has taken me.

In 2008, I expect more travel and that means more of an opportunity to meet you somewhere. Though nothing is definite yet, I’m hoping to make it to Future of Web Apps Miami and New Media Expo as well as near definite appearances at SXSWi, WordCamp Dallas, WordCamp San Francisco, Gnomedex 8 and Blog World Expo 2008.

There’s also rumor of b5media doing a cross country tour, but I can neither confirm nor deny that possibility. ;-)


One of the new buzzwords getting thrown around the Web 2.0-a-sphere is “hyperlocal” – the focus on local/regional services, community and communications. While 2007 has been critical for me in developing my reach internationally and nationally, I have neglected my profile here at home. In the words of Jesus, “A prophet is not without honor save in his own country,” and while I don’t claim to be a prophet, I did predict the Ravens loss to the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday.

In 2008, I plan to cultivate the relationships that I have begun to develop in the Baltimore/Washington region more throughly. For instance, Geoff Livingston and I will be launching a Blog Talk Radio show surrounding the social media and communications environment in the Washington, D.C. area entitled “District of Corruption”. This will begin at 2pm on Tuesday, January 8.

Other potential alliances exist between myself and Nick O’Neill of Social Times and All Facebook, Mike Brenner who is looking to launch Refresh Baltimore, Ann Bernard and Keith Casey at Why Go Solo, NewMediaJim, Frank Gruber of AOL and co-founder of TECH Cocktail, Greg Cangialosi of Blue Sky Factory… and others. In the new year, I’ll be focusing a lot of my time and energy in these areas and with these people and maybe something cool will come of it.

More Original Non-English Content

Carlos Granier-Phelps has been doing a smash up job producing original Spanish language content for Technosailor.com. I’ve learned from early mistakes and provided a separate Spanish feed for this content and I expect to learn more from the experiment. I say experiment because I did this not knowing what to expect. A month and a half in and I’m seeing definite signs of traction. It’s always hard to build a new audience, so I’m grateful to Carlos for helping to spearhead this under the Technosailor banner. Social media and business is not exclusive to English speakers and so I don’t want to ignore that demographic.

In an ideal world, I’d love to see the new year bring original French and, I don’t know, Japanese content as well. We’ll see. Certainly, let me know if you’re interested in reading or writing here.

We Ain’t Seesmic

Finally, you can expect more of the same from me. In the past year, I’ve recognized that it dilutes content to force a quota on myself. I used to force myself to write once a day at least and now I only write when inspired. As a result, my content is better and more original. Traffic has shot through the roof and my subscriber count has more than doubled. Unlike Seesmic, I’m not too concerned with what critics say. ;-)

Time to get going, the plane boards soon.

guest blogging

Facebook se enfrenta a OpenSocial

Facebook ha decidido ofrecer su plataforma de programación al resto de los networks sociales, picándole adelante a Google y su esperado OpenSocial.

Google OpenSocial surgió como una respuesta a la Plataforma Facebook, ofreciéndole al resto de los networks sociales la oportunidad de crear aplicaciones que pudieran inter-operar entre los distintos sitios. Pero OpenSocial todavía no está listo y aún falta mucho por definir sobre su funcionamiento.

Facebook responde ahora con PlatformArchitecture, permitiéndole a cualquier website aprovechar el lenguaje de programación de Facebook. De este modo, cualquier website podrá ofrecer a sus usuarios gran cantidad de aplicaciones que ya existen para Facebook.

Estas iniciativas permiten que usuarios de networks sociales utilicen servicios ofrecidos por otros websites (iLike, por ejemplo) y que compartan experiencias con miembros de su mismo network social (Zombie, Acuario, etc).

Lo que falta es una herramienta que permita a los usuarios de un network social interactuar con los usuarios de otro network social. OpenID, OAuth y XFN son tres iniciativas encaminadas a lograr esto, pero que necesitan ser simplificadas (¿con deNerd-a-tex?) para poder ser entendidas y utilizadas por el grueso de la población.

Si te interesa saber más sobre estas tres iniciativas, déjanos un comentario aquí en la página y desarrollaremos el tema en una columna futura.

Aaron Brazell

Ask Takes Your Privacy Seriously

There was an old story I was told as a kid about boiling a frog to death. As the story goes, you can’t boil a frog to death by dropping him in a pot of boiling water. But put him in cool water and bring the water to a boil, and he won’t know the difference. Eventually, the water will get so hot that the frog will die happily in the water.

In today’s age of the internet and privacy concerns, the proverbial frog is us and we are getting more forgiving and giving regarding our personal lives. We are voyeurs online, sharing photos on Flickr, making friends on MySpace, buying stuff online and finding it “cool” to see those purchases show up in Facebook.

Perhaps the most dangerous of all precedents is what our friends at the search giants are doing. Desktop Search clients documenting everything on your computer – to make finding data easier. All our mail and other data in one place – but easily given to the government without subpoena. Personalized search based on personal trends – but those trends must be extrapolated from stored data regarding your behavior.

Fortunately, there is one search engine who recognizes the dangerous precedents set my the search giants and have taken steps to remedy the problem. At least on their end. It’s unclear if this move will serve to push more users to Ask.com, but it can’t hurt.

Users have the ability to turn AskEraser on at the cost of personalizing Ask.com. Hey, does Ask really need the data they use to personalize it for you anyway?

So in a world where our privacy is going farther away, Ask is taking a sane approach and making sure that we have the choice in the matter.

Aaron Brazell

Marc Orchant, a Hero to Many

All this week, since I heard about the massive coronary that my friend, Marc Orchant, suffered last Sunday morning, I’ve been following the progress reports that Oliver Starr has been posting for the entire blogosphere.

Unfortunately, the news tonight is not good. Marc has passed on from this earth leaving many of us on this earth grieving. Marc was a husband to one, a father to two, a friend and hero to many. He was a beautiful man, always looking to help anyone else he could in any way he could. Anyone who knew him would vouch for this.

On Twitter, his last message was to me – encouraging me, in a way that Marc seemed to always emulate. It does not matter why he was encouraging me. It was just his way. I will miss him.

Oliver noted Marc’s love of music on his blog. I can attest to this, and Marc and I shared a lot of discussion about a mutually favorite band – Dave Matthews Band. So while Oliver left a Grateful Dead song, I leave a Dave Matthews song:

Where Are You Going?
Where are you going, with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away, like an ocean
That you can’t see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down

I am no superman.
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, Aww that’s for sure
But I do know one thing:
Is where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Are you lookin’ for answers to questions under the stars?
Well if along the way you are growin weary, you can rest with me
Until a brighter day, you’re ok.

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero, aww that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing:
Where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Where do you go? Where are you goin? Where do you go?

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, awww thats for sure.
But I do know one thing:
is where you are is where I belong
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you goin’? Where do you go?

Tell me where are you going?
Where? Let’s go.

If there is any doubt the impact that Marc has had on so many, I show you this screenshot of Techmeme where his death is the top thing being blogged about, commented on and discussed in the technology blogsphere. This does not even come close to reflecting the sentiments being expressed elsewhere. I have cried all night. I’ll continue to mourn longer.

Aaron Brazell

Operation: 1000 Subscribers

There is a major milestone approaching here at Technosailor, and since I don’t really feel like writing anything of any real substance tonight, I figure now would be a good time to point out that we are approaching 1000 RSS subscribers here at Technosailor. In fact, I’ve made it easier than ever to subscribe to three different feeds here at Technosailor – the English language feed (which is also the main one), the Spanish language feed, and my Google Reader Shared Items feed – by providing those options in the sidebar.

Notably, however, I’m also displaying how many active subscribers there are (according to FeedBurner) in the sidebar as well. For me, it will be a monumental milestone when I break that elusive 1000 subscriber number. Help me get there if you aren’t already subscribed. :)

Aaron Brazell

Now is Gone is Here

Good friend of mine and sometimes-columnist here at Technosailor, Geoff Livingston, is celebrating the launch of Now is Gone, the book he’s been working on for quite some time (it also has a blog associated with it as any good new media book does). Now is Gone is described as a “Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs” based on his own knowledge and experience running a social media-oriented PR firm.

So, Geoff is a friend of mine but I told him I’d give him an honest review of this book, and honest review I will do. Overall, the book is brilliant. I’m glad this is not “yet another book on blogging”. It doesn’t provide a how to. It doesn’t provide options for choosing your platform or describe how to subscribe to RSS.

It’s obvious that this book was written mostly for executives. This is not a bad thing as Executives are the ones steering companies and the reality is that if companies don’t embrace social media, they will be left behind. It is presented in a very philosophical way, describing the challenges that companies face today when it comes to the social media landscape, brand management and public relations. The simple message is, “Hey guys, you need to get what is going on today and you need to do it fast because Now is Gone”.

The book starts with an intro from Brian Solis who you may remember was a member of the PR Roundtable discussion hosted here in November, 2007. I love Brian, but the foreword was too lengthy and off-putting. As a reader, I wanted to get into the meat of the book and it seemed to take awhile to get to that point.

Geoff makes some common sense analogies between social media mirroring real life. It stood out to me that people do not like to be controlled but they will allow themselves to be influenced – as long as you don’t try to control them! His 5 steps to the basis of an effective social media message could probably be broken out further, but were effective for the book:

  1. Giving Up Control of the Message
  2. Participating in a Community
  3. Is Your Community Social Media Savvy?
  4. Dedicating the Resources
  5. Ethics and Transparency

This book as a whole is a slam dunk, effectively communicating a message that is very much needed and, is very timely at a time where companies are embarrassing themselves more than ever in their engagement with social media. In that way, this book could not be more timely.

I would suggest for the next book, however, (There will be another one, right Geoff? :) ) that fewer callouts be used. It seems that call outs were half the book and if that was the intention, you might as well have made them part of the book. :) That’s a minor point though.

Bottom line… 4 out of 5 stars (does that mean anything anymore?). Job well done. Go buy Now is Gone (aff) today.

guest blogging

La Privacidad como Moneda

Alex Rudloff escribe un interesante artículo (en inglés) sobre el uso de nuestra privacidad como moneda, pudiendo cada quien intercambiar partes de su privacidad por servicios.

De esta forma podemos indicarle a Facebook nuestra fecha de cumpleaños a cambio de que nuestros amigos estén al tanto y puedan felicitarnos. A mint podemos contarle nuestros hábitos de consumo personales a cambio de información y recomendaciones para ahorrar. A LinkedIn le informamos en dónde trabajamos y así podemos conectarnos con nuestros colegas. A Google le permitimos almacenar nuestros correos, a cambio de la comodidad de tener acceso a ellos desde cualquier conexión. A Amazon le dejamos estudiar nuestros gustos a cambio de mejores recomendaciones. Y así sucesivamente.

Lo interesante de este modelo, es que es dinero renovable. A cambio de la misma información podemos obtener múltiples servicios, siempre y cuando uno de los proveedores de servicio no comparta nuestra información.

Cuando un proveedor de servicios decide compartir nuestra información sin nuestra autorización, esta pierde valor. ¿Si todos los websites conocen nuestra fecha de nacimiento, por qué darnos algo a cambio de ella?

En el caso particular de Facebook, ya han violado la privacidad de sus usuarios en dos ocasiones. Pero al parecer, el servicio que ofrece Facebook, o mejor dicho, el valor que obtienen sus usuarios es lo suficientemente alto para que la mayoría permita estos abusos. Eso, o simplemente no se dan cuenta de lo que está ocurriendo.

Cuando activaron el Mini-Feed, Facebook compartió información de las actividades de sus usuarios con el resto de sus amigos en Facebook. Y ahora con el caso del Beacon, Facebook y sus socios comerciales compartieron información entre ellos sobre las actividades de los miembros de Facebook en otros websites.

En ambas ocasiones Facebook ha recapacitado, explicado y ofrecido una solución. Pero también en ambas ocasiones Facebook ha preferido comenzar con la versión más abusiva de la privacidad de sus usuarios, rectificando solamente después de una reacción de estos.

Es sólo cuestión de tiempo para que los datos de más de 50 millones de usuarios estén comprometidos. Y entonces nuestra privacidad se habrá devaluado.