At one point, I had gone gung-ho creating a bunch of how-to content. I had a bunch of stuff up online, but then I pulled it down, and when I changed hosting providers and moved to a new domain, I never put it up again. But yesterday I found a treasure trove of all sorts of really useful things I had written up, that really should go over to Slideshare. Time to make that a reality.
I wrote up articles and presentations about:
How to create and run a customer reference program
How to write an interesting case study
How to create a Surveymonkey survey
Survey best practices
How to do fast research
How to find and hire a freelancer or intern
... and a lot more.
It was cool to find all this good info! Now I've got to start getting it organized and back online. Because that's what it's good for, right?
-- This is a great article on how to prevent those stalkerish follow-me ads that tend to crop up whenever you hit an eCommerce site with a particularly aggressive advertising strategy. I used this at my last company thanks to recommendations from our fabulous agency -- but I realized it would only "work" for a short time, before consumers just plain got fed up. I hit my tipping point this week, when one company's ads started taking over every damn Web page I hit. Enough!
Here's the How-To for specific browsers:
And fortunately, "there's an app for that" -- yes, indeedy.
First Mac, 1984: a whopping 128 KB storage!
Working in online video, file size and file storage are important. The average rule of thumb is that you get about five to seven minutes of HD video to the gigabyte -- but even that isn't really a rule, because it's all very confusing. Some pro sites even put it about a 1:1 ratio -- 1 GB = approx. 1 minute of high-quality video, as showin in these charts
. The University of Kentucky provides this info
:How Much Storage Do I Need?
To calculate the amount of storage space you will need for a project, remember that uncompressed digital video requires approximately 200 MB per minute of footage, or roughly 12 GB per hour. Once your video is ripped to a storage location, you will also need space for render files and output, so add another 2-4 GB per hour, depending on the complexity of your editing, special effects, output format, etc.
Also keep in mind that you will probably shoot more footage than you will need for your finished project. A good ratio might be 5:2, or 5 minutes of footage for every 2 minutes of edited video. For example, a 3 - 5 minute video will require 4-5 GB; a 30 minute video will require 15-18 GB; a 60 minute video will require 30-40 GB, etc. Today we talk about gigabyte files... what's beyond that?
Did you know that when the first Mac shipped in 1984, it came with the luxuriously decadent storage capacity of 128 KB. That's kilobytes. Next, PCs blared through megabyte storage -- MBs -- and today when you go to Best Buy, you're looking for how many gigabytes -- GBs -- of storage you're buying.
So what's next? Here's the naming convention, so you can dazzle your friends at parties. Remember, each "jump" increases to the 10th power: a byte is the basic unit; a kilobyte is 10 to the 3rd, etc. (Sorry, Weebly site publishing limitations make it impossible for me to superscript the numbers).
Kilobyte - KB - 10 to the 3rd
Megabyte - MB - 10 to the 6th
Gigabyte - GB - 10 to the 9th
Terrabyte - TB - 10 to the 12th
Petabyte - PB - 10 to the 15th
Exabyte - EB - 10 to the 18th
Zettabyte - ZB - 10 to the 21st
Yottabyte - YB - 10 to the 24th
When do you think we'll be looking at how many Yottabyes of storage we need?????
A real BITCH: Brave, Intelligent, Tenacious, Creative & Honest
TABATHA Coffey’s Tabatha Takes Over
premiers tomorrow on Bravo. This woman is in my pantheon of modern-day gods and goddesses; she is the Mars aspect of business in a female-dominated industry, and she is one tough boss. Tabatha goes into underperforming hair salons and whips them into shape, a reality TV model perfected by Gordon Ramsay with Kitchen Nightmares and other shows. She’s steelier in the salon than Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen!
Hair salons and spas have a lot in common. Although I haven't worked directly with hair salons, I was fortunate to partner with the esteemed spa industry expert, Nancy Griffin
, for a few years before she sold industry insider site SpaTrade.com
to American Spa Magazine
. Nancy has a lot of the same toughness and practicality that Coffey exhibits; one thing I adored about working with Nancy was that she was ruthlessly matter-of-fact about the foibles and follies of spa owners -- who, like hair salon owners, tend to still be more mom-and-pop operations than major chains.
The biggest point Nancy Griffin made to me, along with her colleague and friend, Peggy Wynne Borgman
(president of Wynne Business Sps Consulting, whose company provides the best Spa Director management training courses available anywhere) is that when you ask spa owners what sets their business apart from the competition, the answer is most commonly "our customer service is the best". No, it's not. You cannot use customer service as your key differentiator if (a) every competitor also claims it as what makes them better, and (b) if it's a baseline expectation of your customers! Can you imagine Sprint's CEO saying "what sets Sprint apart from other carriers is that we really do connect your phone calls" -- ???
That's why I love watching Tabitha, and Ramsay as well: they don't let small business owners give them any BS about "what makes them special" -- and they call the owners on very fundamental issues of mismanagement, like demanding basic hygiene.
Tabatha has a new book out, and I grabbed a few excerpts from her Web site -- how can you not admire this sort of honesty? Talk about knowing who you are and being comfortable in your skin!
Excerpted from http://tabathacoffey.com/book: I always made it a point to say what I needed to say in order to accomplish what I needed to accomplish. Anyone who has worked with me knows that I don’t suffer fools easily and that I won’t hesitate to speak my mind. The irony of people’s reaction to my candor is that I just say what most people want to say but don’t have the balls to say. I tell the truth.
If, along the way, I’ve been called a bitch for being honest, I haven’t taken this personally. I developed a thick skin very early in life.
So I reclaimed the word “BITCH” as someone who is Brave, Intelligent, Tenacious, Creative, and Honest. And because I am all of these things, I now proudly own the title…
Bravery—Mine is derived from being a risk taker, personally and professionally, and from always being willing to face my demons head-on.
Intelligence—I’m no idiot. Despite having left school early to pursue my career, I’m well read, well traveled, street savvy, and I’m a successful businesswoman with a strong gut instinct. What’s more, unlike many women who don’t want to appear intimidating, I never downplay my intelligence. I believe women can be both smart and beautiful.
Tenacity—If I’m really passionate about something, I never give up. I’m like a pit bull with a bone. I have always battled for what I want and what I believe in, and if I have to dig deeper for the energy to keep going, then that’s what I do to achieve my goals.
Creativity—If I didn’t have this quality, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this book! I thoroughly enjoy expressing my creativ- ity in all aspects of life, whether I’m experimenting with a new haircut, sporting a new couture outfit, or adapting to a new challenge. Creativity keeps me engaged and makes my life that much more interesting while I am coping with whatever comes my way.
Honesty—I think I’ve already covered that, haven’t I? It is the key trait that makes people perceive a woman as a bitch—it intimidates people and rubs them the wrong way. Although this reaction is often due to sexism, women are more than capable of being intimidated, too. For me, honesty is saying what I think to the people around me, but it’s also about being honest with myself. If I can’t do that, then I can’t be honest with anyone.
The more I thought about my own positive spin on the term “bitch,” the more I realized that, on some level, everyone would like to be a little braver, or exercise a little more intelligence, or be a little more creative, or tenacious or honest. The truth is, all of us, women and men, have an inner bitch. We just have to choose how much of it to let out and when.
New Year, new quarter, new objectives – do you need to set a brainstorming meeting? One of the big challenges can be if you’re trying to include groups in multiple locations for a single session. There are many great tech tools that enable you to connect via video, online whiteboard, audio and PowerPoint – but the tools, while important, are not all you need. I’ve had to run sessions like this in different US cities as well as with offices located in different countries, and it takes more thought and preplanning to make brainstorming work effectively if you don’t have everyone in the same place, let alone taking into account any time zone or cultural differences. The book “Gamestorming” by Sunni Brown provides great ideas for the actual meeting content; but here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Preplanning is essential – you need more structure when groups are not together
- Give each team prework to accomplish. Use the “split groups” necessity as a positive instead of a negative: give each group tasks to complete and then share with the rest of the team
- If all team members don’t know each other well, have them wear name tags. Do everything you can to familiarize the team members prior to the brainstorming
- If possible, have each group GO OFFSITE to a video conferencing room – it helps remove distractions. Video makes it a lot easier to interact.
- Make sure you have the same resources available to both teams (ie, books, notes, reports, etc.)
- Have a team leader at each location; but only one overall Moderator – Moderator should be skilled at managing this kind of meeting
- Think up icebreaking activities that can help build trust (just google “meeting icebreakers”) – but here are a bunch of ideas: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/40_icebreakers_for_small_groups.pdf
- Have a backup planned in case your online tools go down. (It DOES happen!)
- Keep the group size manageable: max of 8 – 10 at each location (4 – 6 seems ideal)
- Make attendance mandatory if at all possible. If time zones are way off (ie, meeting in San Francisco and Dublin), try to schedule two sessions: one that’s easiest for each group (since one group will get to work early, and one will stay late)
- Stick to a firm schedule (especially for breaks and start and stop times)
- Don’t let the “Main Office” group dominate the meeting
- Structure the session so there’s time at the end to summarize and clarify next steps
Good luck! this can be a fun and informative experience if you plan it well.
Another wonderful video from Vihart
-- I wish I'd had this two weeks ago. I'll need to send this one out next December! She really has the knack of making math fun. This is the 12 Days of Christmas, sort of...
I hope Vihart posts more videos like this one
. It's an amazingly cool approach to doodling and math -- and it's an A+ YouTube video!
Kudos to David Meerman Scott, one of my favorite authors of all things PR, on his Gobbledygook Manifesto
! This is totally worth a read -- if it helps you squish just one icky buzzword from your writing, you'll make the world a better place:
Revolutionize... best of breed... leading/leader... award-winning... next-generation... robust... world-class... scalable... cutting edge... groundbreaking... and so many more!
My personal pet peeves are REVOLUTIONIZE/REVOLUTIONARY, and "ROBUST". Arrrgh... let's play Buzzword Bingo!!!
Generally, conventional wisdom tells us that the fine art of job interviewing means that you maximize your strengths, and minimize (or even trivialize) your weaknesses. When I interviewed for my current job, my "weakness" was simply that the position was in an industry I have never worked in before -- financial services. So I was honest with the Chief Operating Officer and VP who interviewed me, so they were clear that although I'm a marketing expert, my only experience with their field was as a consumer (after all, I've had mortgages, credit cards, car loans, and checking and savings accounts!). Turned out that my commitment to do whatever it took to learn the ropes of my new industry sufficed. And I'm having a BLAST learning the field.
It reminded me of my first few weeks working as a product manager for a technology company. I'd sit in these large team meetings, and keep a running list of all the mysterious acronyms and techie terminology -- then every Friday, I'd invite a couple of engineers out to a bar -- I'd buy the pitchers of beer, and they'd explain the difference between TCP/IP and C++, HTML and codecs. Willingness to learn, and commitment to doing whatever it takes is what makes life exciting.