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Throwback(ish) Thursday – the 2012 Australian Open


Always On!

In honor of Throwback Thursday and the Australian Open (sadly sans Roger and Rafa at the moment), I thought I would republish my post from February 2012:

THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN – TWO WEEKS WITH RAFA, ROGER, NOVAK, LAYTON AND JELENA

February 8, 2012 

As Eli Manning declares his plans to visit Disneyland, and New Yorkers bask in the afterglow of our ticker tape parade, I am still recovering from two intense weeks that were the Australian Open.  (That’s tennis for those less obsessed than I.)

Thanks to ESPN2 and my Time Warner Cable DVR, I awoke every morning for two weeks to a Christmas morning of sorts, full of 10 some hours of tennis coverage.  Putting aside the incredible athleticism, the fit and attractive main characters and the fashion considerations, just the fact that I had a window into beautiful summer weather made the tournament an uplifting addiction.

But there…

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Link me In – LinkedIn Tips for Job Search and Business Promotion


This evening I am sitting on a discussion panel about social media and, particularly, LinkedIn. Last night I jotted down some thoughts with respect to some of the preliminary questions posed to me and thought I might share them here for those who will not be making it to Paramus this evening – though I encourage you to do so if you can as (a) I will surely refine my answers (b) there are two other panelists and a moderator, (c) there will be a Q&A session (d) there will be networking and food for a low price.

As I said, these thoughts are rough and preliminary, and I hope to improve upon them when I find myself in a “procrastinatory” mood. I welcome your thoughts, input, disagreement, personal examples, corroboration and so forth:

JOB SEARCH:

How do I make my profile standout?

  • Be true to yourself. I see my LinkedIn profile as part of my overall communication plan. So highlight the things you want to emphasize. I would also recommend that you include any “Brand Names” and “key words” that might be of interest to those you want to “attract.” There are a number of people, including recruiters and HR managers, who use LinkedIn as a search engine. It’s similar to the way things used to be with job sites like CareerBuilder. However, this is better, in my opinion, because you are not obviously, actively looking, so it puts you on more equal footing.
  • Include descriptions of your work, not just listings of companies, titles and dates
  • Include links to relevant websites, e.g., if you have a personal or biz website, if you have a blog, if you have a Twitter feed.
  • Have a nice, professional photo.
  • Update things periodically so that your contacts get “updates.” Keeps you top of mind. Use the status update, but use it strategically and cautiously.

Should I make more than one profile?

  • No, it will just complicate your life, and it will confuse people. This is what makes LinkedIn tricky, but embraces it as a puzzle to solve.

What are some profile mistakes I should avoid?

  • Poor quality or unprofessional photo
  • Twitter feed – don’t overwhelm me
  • Incoherent overview of what you do – for consultants – don’t give me a list
  • [I have a personal example of something I tried but found to be suboptimal – demonstrating that here, as in most digital environments, there is an opportunity to test and change.]

How do I expand my network?

  • LinkedIn is a tool to manage your network, so basic networking rules still apply, and I would encourage getting to know people face to face before connecting with them on LinkedIn. When you meet someone at an event that you want to connect to, take their card and connect to them in the next 24 hours to 7 days.
  • Groups. Join some relevant groups, and join in on the conversations
  • Go through the lists that LinkedIn gives you of people from your jobs or schools that are on LinkedIn. Check back periodically. Once you’ve exhausted that, take a look at the people that LinkedIn recommends to you.
  • Go through your non-LinkedIn “Rolodex” and periodically invite people to connect. Consider “refreshing” people’s memories, as needed, e.g., “you may recall that we met at the Bergen County Networking Event.”

How do I request references?

  • Probably best to prime the pump outside of LinkedIn, e.g., via email or phone or in person. Then send the invite; make it easy for them.
  • Technically: go to edit mode of your profile, go to relevant job, and click on “request recommendation.” The person has to be a LinkedIn connection.
  • Think strategically about how many you want. Try to get people from different perspectives, but especially senior people. Ask people who can sincerely write about you.
  • Sometimes people will ask you what they should say. Find out whether they want a few bullet points or an actual draft. [interested in what others have to say about this.]

How do I find companies that may not be advertising new jobs?

  • Search for people at those companies, including people in HR. Create jobs. Network with people and sell them on what you could potentially do. Set up informational interviews.
  • Follow companies… (a new feature)
  • Check out company pages.

What can/should I learn about a company before an interview?

  • Find out who you are meeting with and check out their LinkedIn profile – take a look at who you know in common – take at look at people’s blogs, company websites and twitter feeds. Be cautious about speaking to people who know the interviewer in common – make sure you’re not giving away a lead.
  • I still like Hoover’s
  • Set up Google alerts

Should I link my LinkedIn profile to my blog, Facebook and Twitter?

  • Blog: depends on the blog; if your blog is something you want potential employers to see, i.e., professional and/or shows off something you want to showcase, then link to it – use the link at the top of your profile – otherwise, no
  • Facebook: no
  • Twitter: include your twitter name if, as above, you want potential employers to see it, i.e., it’s professional

Should I accept all connection requests?

  • No. Be discriminating. I would like to think that, even though I have 700 connections, I could say who each person is, even though it may take some research, e.g., spotlight, notes, address book or need to jog my memory by seeing who we know in common, etc.
  • Do not connect to anyone you have not met or had substantive exchange with via phone or email.
  • Be somewhat cautious about recruiters – they want access to your Rolodex. Think about whether they can be valuable to you.

Is it recommended that a job seeker use the Q&A section?

  • Q&A – now called Answers – is not very commonly used anymore. I would focus on Groups.

BUSINESS PROMOTION

What’s the best way to promote a business on LinkedIn?

  • Create and maintain company profile
  • Use status updates, events, get involved in Groups
  • As above, tweak your profile to stay on people’s update feeds
  • Create a blog if you have the time and it’s relevant; link to it. Same with Twitter.
  • Encourage employees to use LinkedIn
  • Create alumni groups
  • Monitor LinkedIn to stay on top of trends and hear what’s being said about your company, competitors and your sector

How do we promote a small business? (versus a large business)

  • Same as above.

How do we use LinkedIn for local business promotion?

  • I think there are some hyper local functions being added
  • Join local groups (such as Bergen County LinkedIn and Meetup groups)
  • Connect to important people in your geo

Can I advertise on LinkedIn?

  • Yes. There is a link at the bottom of the page called “advertising.” There are options for large & small budgets. I think it’s like Google. Pay per click and also banner pops.

Can I use LinkedIn for competitive info?

  • Yes. First of all, track down people who used to work at competitive companies and network with them…
  • Follow the companies

Should we link our blog/Facebook/Twitter to LinkedIn?

  • Same as above: blog if it’s professional. Facebook Fan page if it’s professional. Twitter if it’s professional. But not automatic feeds. I hate that.

Should we accept all connection requests?

  • Nope – same as above. Your business is yourself when it comes to social media. It’s all about authenticity and transparency, so it’s hard to draw a line.

Should we create a LinkedIn Company Profile? Pros/Cons

  • Yes, it’s quick and easy. No downside, and you can see who is following you. Set it up. You can always add to it later.

Why Go Digital – to the Count of Three


Yesterday, I shared with you some thoughts about measuring payback on ad spending. Thoughts that I am collecting as part of a specific inquiry. Today, I jumped to a later chapter in my analysis for a little diversity and thought therefore, that I would go ahead and begin a fresh post:

Let’s jump ahead for a moment to the big picture. What is it my inquirer wants to know? In sum, she wants to get a handle on the dynamics of the ad market as it transitions from print to digital. She would like to understand why people are moving, why people are staying and how the different users of advertising as well as their intermediaries think about print vs. digital from both the intangible, e.g., business need/presence, and the tangible, e.g., better bang for the buck for banner ad, ability to market to a certain demographic.

The question presents itself to me therefore, which came first the tangible or the intangible? Personally, I think it was the intangible with the tangible playing a part in terms of low risk from a cost point of view. When a client asks me whether marketing dollars should be moved online or to specific new platforms, my reasoning is seldom led by efficiencies. True, the efficiencies are there, and I touted them heartily when writing a business plan for Campfire. (Remind me to share some.) But the reasons advertisers should, have and are going digital include the following:

#1 Your consumers, your customers, your audience is going online. You need to be where they are. As Rishad Tobaccowala once said, “I don’t know whether you are behind your competitors, but I know you are behind your consumers.”

Even if your audience is not quite there yet, I’d rather be there when they arrive than try to find them once I get there. It’s kind of like a party. Fashionably late is not as fashionable when you’re trying to make a good impression and get a jump start. Few marketers and brands are on foursquare. In fact, foursquare has only 750,000 people on it (albeit a 4-fold increase in the last few weeks). But those who were there first – Bravo, Intel, Zagat — have already made an impression, gotten the press and gotten an advantage.

So, number one, you need to be where your peeps are.

Moreover, you need to be where the puck is going, not where it is now. You may still have a critical mass of your core market watching tv, but what about tomorrow’s market? What about the young mothers who are going online for advice and community, spending more time consuming media on their laptops or mobile devices with less time to spend watching daytime soap operas – to the extent that they still exist? You need to get to know these women in their formative, digital years.

#2 Digital media allows for all kinds of targeting. Not just demographic but behavioral, social, key word, contextual and, eventually (once I understand it), semantic. Moreover, let’s think about the word demographic. With geo-location technology, it’s possible to target at the GPS-level. I mean, I mean, in the not too distant future – if not today – a marketer will actually be able to, finally, really, know that I am leaving my yoga studio and walking by the bakery. Good time for a shout out, no?

So digital targeting is not just specific and flexible, but it’s dynamic. With current prevalent print technology, an advertiser knows that I read “Elle” magazine, but does he know whether I, personally, also read “Wired?” Does he know what I do before and after I read my magazine? At what point do I go ahead and purchase the item advertised in the magazine? Not easily.

With the current geo-location analytics technology, a marketer will be able to know what my literal path to purchase is. He’ll know that I go from my house to work, to lunch to the subway to the gym to the grocery store. Now, how he uses that is a new question, but the fact that this kind of information is available is fantastic.

So, to review, the reasons to spend on digital media include:

(1) that’s where you’re consumers are
(2) there are incredible opportunities with respect to targeting and intelligence

#3 Why Not? Why waste the opportunity? If you are advertising offline, why not continue the conversation digitally. The incremental cost is probably not too big in the scheme of the campaign. It extends the impression – both in time and depth – and it offers an opportunity to capture information. It’s a move from one-to-many to one-to-one. “Thanks for coming to my party, now tell me more about yourself.”

Now that I have brought up this third reason, I’d like to go back to part of the original question, i.e., why are some people staying and some people going, and what is the dynamic of the market as it transitions from print to digital. Well, at the risk of getting touchy-feely, this third reason suggests that an advertiser extend his or her buy by adding a digital element. These platforms can and should work together. Is digital cannibalizing analog, or is it possible that the whole will be bigger than the pieces, yielding a bigger payout and thus additional dollars to fund the whole campaign. Well, that’s high math (and cost accounting) but certainly something to think about.

Measuring Advertising Returns


This blog is about advertising returns, in particular gauging the efficacy of different types of advertising campaigns. It was inspired by the questions asked me by a client seeking to understand how retailers and advertising agencies view payback on ad investment through different advertising vehicles.

We began with catalogs. Now catalogs are typically considered to be a “lower funnel” or direct advertising tool. While a well-done catalog can positively impact brand perception and equity and can stimulate upper funnel results such as awareness, interest and desire, most catalogs are judged on tangible results.

What then are the tangible results we are looking for? A smart marketer will begin his or her campaign with that question, rather than measuring them after the fact. In direct marketing, these are referred to as Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. In the case of a retail catalog, these KPIs will reflect specific desirable consumer actions such as: making a purchase, visiting a website, returning a business reply mailer, signing up for a mailing list. Most enticing, of course, is sales volume.

How then, do we link consumer activity to a particular catalog mailing? There are a number of tactics that can be used. Here are some examples:

1. Create and include a dedicated telesales phone number for each catalog.

2. Send catalogs to different geographic areas on different dates. Then keep an eye on traffic and spending, in store and online, during those periods in those geographies. The geography of an online shopper can be estimated based on the user’s IP address. (An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes.)

3. More to come…

I welcome your thoughts!

All I Want for Christmas Is a Foursquare Merit Badge – that I can pin on my coat!


I woke up this morning to the following news report from Mashable:

“Remember those real-world merit badges based on the virtual achievements you get for checking in to places using Foursquare that we told you about? They’re approved and on sale now.

The 1.5-inch embroidered badges have Velcro on the back for attaching them to your jacket, backpack, or whatever other fabric you want to decorate. Options include Mari Sheibley-designed badges ‘Local,’ ‘Superstar,’ ‘Crunked,’ and ‘Super Mayor’ for $5.99 each.

Seller Nerd Merit Badges is also offering a 17-inch laptop sash with several badges so you can show off your location-aware cred at your next meeting or social media conference.”

It’s unclear whether Foursquare is deriving any revenue from this recent development, but it does demonstrate that there is an opportunity for digital media companies to garner revenue from, don’t say it, consumers.

Generally speaking, there are three sources of revenue for media and entertainment providers: (1) advertising & sponsorship (b) consumer and (c) strategic partnerships, revenue share, etc.

In the past ten years, nearly all digital media companies abandoned the subscription model and with it consumer revenue as a viable and substantial source of income. (Not so their cable programmer brethren who, for now at least, have two sources of revenue – advertising and carriage/license fees.) But for digital publishers – and, particularly offline publishers going online, it seemed that Internet users would not pay for content, and advertising could carry the load for high quality and/or highly popular content.

But Foursquare seems to be learning from the missteps of those before it. Albeit, it is also benefiting from the change in mindset created by iTunes and mobile gaming companies who have conditioned mobile (and iTunes) users to make micro-payments – little payments of 99 cents and up that add up to BIG dollars.

Not only is Foursquare inspiring a (non-subscription) consumer-based line of revenue – 3rd party for now, i.e., the physical patches, but they are also developing high profile, high level strategic partnerships and custom programs with big name brands like Bravo, Intel and Zagat – giving it credibility, buzz, and access to the huge consumer bases of these mega-brands.

Foursquare is an especially exciting platform because it takes social media back and forth between the physical and virtual world and directly touches the retail world. The potential value of the information collected by Foursquare about your day to day activities and the ability of retailers and other businesses to influence consumer behavior immediately and at a relevant, targeted level is immense.

A few days ago, I heard Gary Vaynerchuk lambaste Facebook for letting virtual, social gaming organizations like Zynga make billions of dollars on Facebook’s platform. They should have ensured themselves a piece of that, he said. But Facebook, like Google and YouTube had an idea without a business plan – although it certainly (fortuitously?) worked out well for Google in the end. Dennis Crowley and his colleagues at Foursquare seem to be a little more aware of creative monetization options from the start.

Chris Anderson famously talks about the Fremium model – a cute word for an age-old concept that seemed to have been forgotten or abandoned or not viable for the last 10 years – in the digital world. Is that what these badges are? Well, sure. You can earn a virtual badge for free. But for $6, you can get a real one from Nerd Merit Badges. But, you might say, don’t you remember the Twitter and Facebook pillows? Well, no, I don’t – but I just read about them… anyway, what differentiates Foursquare is the gaming element. That’s what makes a physical merit badge more desirable than a Friend Feed Pillow.

Adam Penenberg, the author of “Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves” – and the Forbes.com guy who broke the “Shattered Glass” story, said recently that instead of consumers spending billions of dollars on virtual items in online games, advertisers should be giving us real items for our online accomplishments. (Hmmm… sounds kind of like loyalty clubs, but now we have the platform to make it truly scalable – you didn’t think I could go a whole entry on this topic without saying scalable, did you? – but I digress) Well, he’s on to something, but Nerd Merit Badges has turned Adam’s idea and currently practices on their heads. What is happening is that a virtual game is crossing over the real world. Real dollars are being spent on real goods that are the physical manifestations of virtual items.

It’s all pretty exciting. I hope that traditional media companies are watching and learning.

p.s. Last night I unlocked the “Gym Rat” merit badge for visiting the Harvard Club 10x in the last 30 days. Unfortunately, the club is not a place I go to work out but rather to eat… so I’m probably not getting the physical fitness benefits Foursquare thinks I am.

They’re Listening


Because I wrote a post the other day about hyper local media, I have been contacted by entrepreneurs in this space – which is actually kind of exciting. I have also made an apparent splash by asking a question about the topic at today’s Social Media Week panel at the Time & Life Building

The first communication I received came from the developers of PlacePop, who wrote the following note:

“I enjoyed your reading your recent post about the advent of hyper-local targeting.” Flattery will get you everywhere with me, and reading my blog is flattery on steroids.

“Since you have an interest in location-based services, I thought you would be interested in learning about a new app called PlacePop.

PlacePop is a new entrant into the geo-social networking space. Like Gowalla and Foursquare, PlacePop uses a check-in mechanism to connect people with the places they go to, anywhere in the world. However, PlacePop is designed to offer a much simpler user experience that provides value without such a strong focus on gaming elements. Our app is also designed to work well anywhere in the world, small towns and major cities alike.

As an early adopter yourself, I thought you might be interested in taking the PlacePop app for a test drive. If you have some time to try it out, I would really love to hear your feedback on the product we have so far.

You can find the app (free) here in the iTunes store: http://itunes.com/app/placepop

You can also use PlacePop on the web at http://placepop.com”

Prior to receiving this note, I had had the opportunity to discuss my dislike of Gowalla with Ian Schafer, the CEO of DeepFocus, and he encouraged me to give it another try as he, personally found the gaming element of it – specifically the ability to drop and take things from locations – alluring. (Ian had been a speaker at the opening Press Conference for Social Media Week.)

Having had these two interactions and having heard FourSquare referenced nearly as frequently as Twitter and Facebook during the first two days of Social Media Week, I was convinced that hyper-local social media was indeed the next great thing, and that Four Square is the Facebook and Twitter of the space. As it was with LinkedIn and Facebook when I first joined, I find myself friending people I don’t really know in order to develop some kind of critical mass. And I know that as time goes on, I will become much more particular and possibly even jettison these connections if they prove to be creepy. In fact, I have already found myself ignoring requests from people to whom I see no ostensible connection except that they might perhaps like my photo. The challenge here is that I have not yet found a way to respond to these people to ask whether I actually know them. Is that functionality available?

On the other side of the coin, I have sent friend requests to panelists that I see have checked in at the location of the event – although I follow up by introducing myself live and giving them the heads up.

Near the end of today’s Social Media Week panel about defining the Social Media Editor Role (sponsored by Time Inc. and entitled “Networked News Gatherers”), I posed the following question to the panelists: What do you see as the intersection of hyper-local behavior and social media, and how will this impact you in your role as a social media editor. Rachel Sklar, Rachel Sklar, Business/Project Development, Abrams Research and Writer for Mediaites, answered that while she had been an enthusiastic member of FourSquare for a year (oh, how behind the times I feel), she did not yet see an application for it other than as a way to enhance her relationships with her friends. She did say that somewhere in a basement, a brilliant mind was developing an application that would expand the capabilities and role of the application – in the same way that Twitter evolved.

Cyndi Stivers, Managing Editor, EW.com then added that a key attribute of FourSquare (and, I imagine Gowall), is the gaming element. And this made me realize that hyper-local targeting does not stand alone as the next great trend, but that the intersection of gaming and social media is integral to the development of this space – a la Farmville.

Following the panel, I was approached by Phil Thomas Di Giulio, the founder of the pegshot mobile application – who, by the way, was lucky enough to be trapped in an elevator with Ann Curry at the conclusion of yesterday’s panel about the role of social media in the recent events in Haiti. Phil introduced me to this application and also uploaded photos of me, one of the speakers and himself – among others – to the site.

Talking About My Education: New Media and Other Conferences, Seminars and Events


If President Obama is a nerd, then I am definitely a geek. In elementary, middle and high school, I dutifully followed my father’s direction to do any and all extra credit. In college, having calculated the cost of each individual course, in fact, lecture, I opted to take four extra classes – one more per year than required. And now, I have become the guru of “continuing education,” industry conferences, topical seminars, webinars, podcasts, you name it. Here are some examples:

Upcoming:

Social Media Week: February 1st-5th, 2010

The Official PressLift Launch Event

Recently Attended:

The New Age of Social Media, Monday, February 3rd, 7-9pm. SLC Center – 352 7th Avenue, 16th Floor – New York NY.

This event, in conjunction with Social Media Week, featured a panel that discussed the “truths and myths of social media.” They were:

Eric Hamilton – Author, Social Media Branding in the Age of Obama
Ellie Nieves – Founder, Leadership Strategies for Women, LLC
Orietta E. Ramirez – Lawyer, HR Professional & Employment Blogger
Mike Street – Director of Social Media Marketing, Zezza Network

Moderator:
Anthony Quinones – CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Q Ball Media, LLC
Branding The Future With Social Media, sponsored by Pepsi Refresh, Monday, February 3rd, 2010, 10:30am – 12:30pm. New York, NY

The opening session of Social Media Week will focus on a top-level discussion of the increasing importance in utilizing social media to grow and develop corporate brands in the twenty-first century.

SPEAKERS:

Brian Morrisey, Digital Editor at AdWeek, will moderate this panel with panelists,

Lauren Hobart, Chief Marketing Officer of Sparkling Brands, for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages,
Max Schorr, Co-founder of GOOD, Inc.
Facebook VP of Sales Tom Arrix
Frank Cooper, Chief Engagement Officer of Pepsico.

Social Media Week Official Press Conference, Monday, February 3rd, 8:30-10am. The Paley Center for Media – 25 West 52nd Street – New York, NY

Over-Under, Sideways-Down” – screening of the 1979 film followed by discussion with director-producer Steve Wax

Keynote speech by Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Saint Andrews – expert on terrorism, January 21, 2010

iPhone workshop at Apple Store, Upper West Side – Monday, January 19, 2010.

Aperture workshop at Apple Store, Upper West Side – Monday, January 18, 2010.

Meeting of the Minds Webcast Series: 50+ Metrics Every Marketer Should Master (an Update)

Sponsored by American Marketing Association and MarketingNPV

Paul Farris of Darden School at UVA will offer an update on the new 2nd edition of 50+ Metrics Every Marketer Should Master – and discuss the additions and changes to the key metrics shaping marketing measurement. He’ll also share with us some new research into who is using which types of marketing metrics and how.

· Which metrics matter most?
· The evolution/update of marketing metrics
· New metrics for marketers to know

Speakers:
Paul Farris, Landmark Communications Professor, Darden School, University of Virginia; Author of 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master
Pat LaPointe, Managing Partner, MarketingNPV (moderator)

— January 14th, 2010 @ 1pm ECT

Meeting of the Minds Webcast Series: Effective Marketing for the Economic Recovery — Presented by: American Marketing Association in cooperation with MarketingNPV

Speakers:
Dave Reibstein, William Woodside Professor of Marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Author: Dynamic Competitive Strategy
Pat LaPointe, Managing Partner, MarketingNPV (moderator)

Dave Reibstein of Wharton will share his learnings on effective marketing during the economic recovery. Should we be waiting until the recession is all the way over? Should we be returning back to the original spending levels—slowly, immediately, or even exceeding the previous levels? Should we be spending differently in the recovery stage? Dave will discuss how spending should rise or fall as economic conditions vary, and when marketers should look to reallocate spending between acquisition and retention based on the type as well as the length of the recession.

* Recessions – what type of effects are being felt in your industry?
* How does a recession affect your total spending?
* What steps should you take in the allocation of spending between customer acquisition and retention?
* Should you wait until the recession is over to start increasing your spending?

— December 15th, noon CST

“<a href=”http://www.nyssa.org/AM/Template.cfm?

Section=calendar&template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=14171”>Market Forecast: The Economy and Markets at the CrossroadsNYSSA (New York Society of Security Analysts) – The stock market rally that began in early March sparked hope that the global economy has seen the worst of the recession. Yield spreads have moved closer to normal and credit has begun to flow with greater regularity. Yet, there remains significant doubt among many investors that the rise in stocks and the return to some semblance of normality in the credit markets is justified by the current and future state of the economy. Additionally, a high and rising level of concern of many investors is the degree of government activism exhibited by the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress. Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

“Understanding Social Media: An Introduction.” Fridays with Vistage – Social Media Webcast with speaker Gini Dietrich. Friday, July 17th, 2009. I thought this would be kind of elementary as it was promoted as an intro to social media for executives. It definitely started out that way and reinforced most of what I already knew from my own experience, from Steve Wax at Campfire and from OMMA Social – among other social media sources; however, as Gini got more specific, there were some interesting tidbits, and I always find that the more you immerse yourself in a topic, the more knowledgeable, fluent and comfortable you become – even if it’s your area of personal expertise. Moreover, I discovered after the fact a Twitter discussion community full of social media fluent participants and a total audience of 1,000 people according to one tweet. I’m looking forward to next Friday’s installment (and hope to post some key takeaways).

Advanced Investing Committee Meeting. NYSSA (New York Society of Security Analysts) – Tuesday, July 14th, 2009.

“Inter-Ivy Comedy Night.” Penn Club of New York – Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

“Advanced Excel for Data Analysis” New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) – Streamline your number crunching process and conduct more in-depth analysis with sophisticated techniques. Minimize manual labor, save time and perform more detailed analysis quickly. Develop more efficient ways to apply commonly used formulas. Discover often overlooked Excel formulas. Analyze data using functions such as pivot tables, sumif, sum+if, transpose, working with arrays, vlook-up, subtotals, and regression analysis. Enhance your spreadsheets with data validation techniques, automation of alternate row shading and much more! Increase your Excel efficiency up to 75%.

“6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times” New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) with speaker Whitney Tilson – During recent years, a flood of liquidity fueled a worldwide asset bubble, in which the most significant element was the Great Mortgage Bubble in the United States. The unwinding of this bubble remains the primary driver of the credit crisis that is reverberating through the global financial system. Value investor Whitney Tilson, co-author of the recently released book More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times, will share an in-depth analysis of the state of the housing market and a prediction of what the future may have in store. This session will conclude with an overview of the current opportunity set, discussing what has already been priced into securities and where the best opportunities can be found on the short- and long-side.

Inaugural Meeting of the Wharton Marketing Professionals Association (WhAM) — Presented by Wharton Dean Tom Robertson and Marketing Professor Dave Reibstein. Wharton Dean (and former Marketing Department Chair) Tom Robertson launched the Wharton Association of Marketers (WhAM!) in New York on Tuesday, March 17th. Sponsored by the Wharton Club of New York — WhAM! is the first Wharton alumni program of its kind — an exclusive network dedicated to the professional, career and personal growth of the best trained, most elite group of marketing professionals in the world — Wharton Marketers!

In his launch address Dean Robertson also provided an update on the state of the school, followed by Professor Reibstein’s update on the University’s latest developments and initiatives in the field of Marketing – March 17, 2009