American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspirational Movies: Holiday Films For The Family

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article on 11-27-08

Reuters.com published this deansguide article on 11-27-08

The AFI aka American Film Institute is a rich and storied institution that provides a fantastic look at the American film industry. One of the best things about their site is the many top 10 and top 100 lists available for the true film fans.

Holiday movie fans will be especially happy with “AFI’s 100 Years 100 Cheers” a list of the Top 100 list of what AFI dubs “America’s Most Inspiring Movies.”

Cheers Top 10

1. It’s A Wonderful Life: Is anyone better than Jimmy Stewart for gratitude?

2. To Kill A Mockingbird: A curious choice due to it’s serious subject matter but brilliant none the less.

3. Shindler’s List: A true epic in every sense of the word

4. Rocky: Awesome period piece with a message that never gets old: believe and overcome.

5. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: I am sorry but this one is out of place for me

6. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Family fun and a reminder we can love no matter the form.

7. The Grapes of Wrath: Sorrow & suffering but Henry Fonda’s performance should be mandatory viewing

8. Breaking Away: Rocky for bicycling enthusiasts

9. Miracle on 34th Street: Fantastic Santa story for the little ones and the big ones too!

10. Saving Private Ryan: It made me cry and it made me care all within the tapestry of WW II

The One(s) That Got Away

1. Hoosiers: There is NO excuse for this movie to not be in the top 10. It is the ultimate learning experience

2. The Shawshank Redemption: In my all time top 3 movies and most likely the greatest acting effort by Morgan Freeman.

3. Field of Dreams: This one’s for my dad who I love very much and the American dream fathers and sons share from generation to generation.

Kidney Donor Found! Young Girl Saved Via Blogosphere & Social Media “Global Conversation”

http://thedomesticdiva.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/amazing2.jpg

Courtesy New York Presbyterian Hospital

Chicago Sun-Times newspaper published this deansguide article November 26, 2008

The evidence that we are living in one of the most amazing times in human history for communication and connectivity was again validated today. Marielle, the young girl from the Philadelphia area, who was facing certain death without an immediate kidney transplant has found a perfect donor.

Our Global Conversation

There is a global conversation being supported by bloggers, social media sites, and the many free community tools that make up our new Web 2.0 social media construct. In this case, within a 24 hour period, Marielle’s story was supported and viral spread on a world wide basis.

Events Unfolding: The Power of Citizen Journalism and Social Media

Here is a description of the events by Marielle’s mom

“It ends up friends and friends of friends posted about my search for a kidney donor to Marielle on Twitter, Facebook, web sites, and blogs–it made the news (special thanks to Courtney on Fox News!). . . and now we have more possible donors than we could have ever wished for! Thank you to EVERYONE who sent in donor forms, called, blogged, twittered, and helped spread the word. . . But WE DO NOT NEED ANY ADDITIONAL DONORS AT THIS TIME.”

“I am amazed by the power of the web and the hearts of those who helped make a difference.” —thedomesticdiva Marielle’s Mom


Does Twitter Really Help You Build Your Business: Ask Amazon.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-25-08

Twitter.com is fast becoming the go-to source for small and big business marketing. For me, Twitter represents my greatest content resource, broadcasting opportunity, and a fantastic networking opportunity with industry leaders. One of those leaders, Guy Kawasaki, dropped a “tweet”, aka mini message, about the power of Twitter in growing your business.

The following is a comment, on MotleyFool.com, answering the question: “Does Twitter Help You Build Your Business?”:

  • On November 24, 2008, at 3:56 PM, j2xl wrote: I work at Amazon. During a lunch break last March I wrote a simple bot that posts Amazon’s deal of the day to Twitter. Since then I’ve added Lightning Deals throughout the day. The bot now has close to 3,000 bargain-hunting followers and drives all sorts of orders every day. Add it to the list of Twitter success stories. Check it out at http://twitter.com/amazondeals .

Analysis:

Big corporations like Amazon, small firms like Innerarchitect.com, and entrepreneurs like Adam Helweh of Secret Sushi Creative are building their businesses, creating opportunities, and connecting with industry leaders on Twitter. The next time you are looking for a method and strategy to increase your business, make new connections, find opportunities, look for a job, or broadcast news about you–look no further than Twitter.com. It is your “mini PR release-sound bite broadcasting” tool.

Adam Helweh

guykawasaki


Can You Help Save This Girl’s Life: A Mother’s Plea in the Blogosphere and Twitter

http://thedomesticdiva.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/mcxmas2006unedit2.jpg

Courtesy thedomesticdiva.wordpress.com daughter Marielle desperately needs your help!

It is not often that I make impassioned pleas on deansguide but this is a very very grave situation and one worthy of support. As I rolled through my twitter feeds, a new friend Chris Brogan, left a link to the following article written by blogger the domestic diva “Sew Urgent: Help Save My Daughter’s Life”

There is Hope:

Marielle is being transfered to a new and better hospital NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital (NYP) in hopes their additional living-donor kidney programs will save her life. Please consider the following kidney donor options if you or somebody you know can help Marielle.

Compatible Living Donor

Incompatible Donor Program

Paired Donor Exchange Program

Deceased Donor Program

S.F. Chronicle 50% Price Hike: Strategy to Move Readers Online

https://i1.wp.com/www.iri.org/newsarchive/images/news-SanFranciscoChronicle.png

Courtesy www.iri.org/newsarchive/2008/2008-07-26-News-…

The continued downward spiral of print media advertising revenues has large American papers rethinking their strategy for survival. Unfortunately for consumers who prefer inky newsprint on their figertips and something to hold, the strategy of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is a massive price increase. The SF Chronicle, not bothering to announce the increase, raised their newsstand price from .50 to .75 a whopping 50% increase. Adding insult to injury, the paper is offering less information-for more.

Trend Away from Print

“Want Ad” Advertising for employment, real estate, and other consumer goods has been severely hampered by the influx of sites like Craig’s list, blogs, and other social media sites that provide more strategically targeted information and advertising for free.

Survival Tactic

Now readers who enjoy traditional print media will have to pay more for the privilege of buying a paper off the newsstand or from their local paperboy. The reason for this is the fact that online advertising revenue is taking over as the prime income stream for many newspapers.

The Strategy

Sfgate.com the online newspaper for the San Francisco Chronicle is a vibrant example of what many news agencies are beginning to realize. A news site like sfgate.com is a massive blog. News stories, advertising, want ads, and other media placed everyday makes for a massive SEO machine. The sheer volume of information placed on sfgate.com everyday makes it a high traffic blog-website that ranks high on Google.

The Results

The S.F. Chronicle has a solid path to advertising revenue via it’s sfgate.com site. The paper has a chance to survive as it moves it’s operations online providing a vibrant and viable news product.

The consumer wins because the sfgate.com site is the SF Chronicle paper. Everyword is online for any reader willing to go to the site. The win for consumers is that the online version is FREE. Consumers willing to read their paper online don’t spend a dime. Is that not what Web 2.0 is all about?

Tag Cloud Blog Experiment: Netflix Case Study

http://www.bigberries.com/category/digital/page/3/

Courtesy bigberries.com

How do bloggers measure their writing, article effectiveness, viral marketing power, and popularity with readers? Comments from readers and blog traffic can only provide a margin of insight into your effectiveness. Clive Thompson’s great New York Times article “If You Liked This, Your Sure to Love That” describes an interesting contest hosted by online movie rental company Netflix.

Netflix Offer

Netflix is offering anyone the opportunity to win a $1,000,000 prize. The challenge is to increase Netflix’s Cinematch it’s recommendation search engine. The engine suggests movie titles to consumers based on what they have chosen in the past. Netflix will pay out the cash prize to anyone who can increase their search accuracy by 10%. The leaders in this contest and their progress.

Netflix Problem

Statistical analysis and algorithms do not account for a genre of movies that have been described as quirky or unpredictable. The effect is called the “Napoleon Dynamite Problem” because it is said that this type of movie is either loved or hated by it’s viewers. Very little middle ground exists or gray area of preference.

Blogger’s Measurement Experiment: Posit for Answers

According to the article, Netflix is considering the following experiment:

“. . . hiring cinephiles to watch all 100,000 movies in the Netflix library and write up, by hand, pages of adjectives describing each movie, a cloud of tags that would offer a subjective view of what makes films similar or dissimilar. It might imbue Cinematch with more unpredictable, humanlike intelligence.”

Posit: How We May Learn

1. Bloggers set up a tag cloud for each individual blog article rather than for an entire blog’s library

2. If that can be done, the next step would be to ask readers to provide 3-5 adjectives that describe the blog article they just read.

3. Tag Cloud information would give bloggers an idea how readers perceived the value of their article and provide the following benefits:

3 Measurements Benefiting Bloggers

1. If a blog reader likes one article what other articles in your blog library would they enjoy?

2. Internal blog linking and construct could be improved if the blogger understood synergy between their articles

3. Don’t just rely on Categories as predictors for synergy between articles

Final Analysis and Acknowledgements

Netflix realizes that their best method to answers is to measure a social network: “It might imbue Cinematch with more unpredictable, humanlike intelligence.”

VijayKrishna

Thanks go to Vijay Krishna who alerted me to this information on Twitter.com: a fantastic social media site that provides 80% of my research data. You can find solid information by following Vijay on Twitter . Thanks also go to New York Times writer Clive Thompson for his insightful and wonderful piece on this challenge. Thank you Clive!

Chris Brogan’s Two Tips To Public Speaking: What’s In It For Me?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-20-08

Do you want to learn two hugely important tips to become a better public speaker, more connected with your audience, and a method to provide your audience with an actionable next step? If the answer is yes then please read Chris Brogan’s fantastic article “Two Important Speaking Tips.”

Courtesy of (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

Chris Brogan, one of this generation’s true social media superstars states: WIIFM aka “What Is In It For Me?” Before you can understand how to provide the audience with the answer to WIIFM, let’s examine one of the most common mistakes speakers make–me included.

Our Introduction Rarely Connects Us to the Audience

According to Chris: “We have a tendency to clear our autobiographical throats before we dig into educating an audience. Then, we end with no real sense of what comes next. This means we leave people excited, but with nothing to do.”

Analysis: Often times I rely upon building my credentials first before getting to WIIFM. Do you find yourself moving your own value message forward before connecting with the audience’s need to CARE about your message?

2 Tips to Help Your Public Speaking

1. WIIFM: Ask Your Audience a Question- According to Chris you want to ask your audience a question “that sounds like it came right out of their head.”

Example: If you are giving a session on the merits of blogging as a tool for job seekers in their job search you might ask:

“Do you think people REALLY believe blogging will change the process of searching for a job?”

Benefits: By asking this type of question, you are relating to the audience’s need to care and understand what is in it for me.

Second benefit is what Chris refers to as taking away their “sword”:

“This means start by making sure your audience (especially if they’re skeptics) knows that you’re on their side.

2. Takeaways: these are very important for a speaker to include in their presentation. They are the next step actions and things people can do to apply the tips-information you have provided during your presentation. As Chris states, and I can vouch for this myself, takeaways are “the whole “next steps” stuff that people seem to crave at events.”

The Takeaways you provide should be “very actionable.” When I finished my workshop on Blogging to Employment, I gave my audience a homework assignment that included research, writing their initial blog article, and formulation of a target list.

Benefit of Takeaways Keeps You Connected: you remain connected and have a solid reason to collaborate with your audience as a resource and coach for their next step actionable items.

Organizational Structure: people need and want structure and organization. By giving Takeaways and “homework” you are helping your audience to be more organized in their quest for new information and solutions.

Realtor’s Twitter Strategy: 4 Mistakes to Avoid By Communicating

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

ComputerShopper.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Free Twitter Strategy Chart courtesy of Paul Gram’s Websitesuccessdoctor.com

Twitter.com is quickly becoming one of the most useful, fastest growing social media tools available today. Anyone from entrepreneurs to large corporations can utilize twitter to gain exposure, push out their message of value, research, learn, and network. Yet a large number of twitter advocates are making the most basic mistake in social media which is costing them valuable opportunities and slowing their desired results.

#1 Mistake to Avoid: Collecting Numbers

Stop collecting and start connecting! Too many people view twitter as a place to collect followers or create impressive numbers. This syndrome is not exclusive to twitter as many people make the same mistake on Linkedin. The collection of connections has no depth, no meaning, and no value unless you create communication leading to relationships.

#2 Mistake to Avoid: Staying within Your Own “Tribe”

Many Realtors, from my observations on twitter, are guilty of staying within the “tribe.” Simply put many Realtors fail to communicate or investigate outside the sphere of real estate. Instead they tend to limit the majority (if not all) their communications to other brokers or Realtors.

#3 Mistake to Avoid: Stop Hard Selling

Realtors have been trained, and ingrained, to push features and benefits with an ongoing hard sell sales strategy that has worked for decades–up to now. In today’s information rich, Web 2.0 savvy world, the hard sell is dead. Today’s most influential and successful Realtors understand that they must provide valuable information on an ongoing basis without a sales pitch attached. Instead of A-B-C tactics of “Always Be Closing” fame, today it is all about giving value.

What does this mean to Realtors on Twitter? A: If you only provide listing links and links about you, people will quickly begin to stop paying attention to your messages. Which brings us to the next challenge.

#4 Mistake to Avoid: Narrow Focus

This dovetails into #3 mistake to avoid because delivering the same narrow focussed message over and over is not compelling. If you are a Realtor and the only subject and strategy you employ is to leave links to your listings or to your website-blog people will begin to tune out.

Then What is the Strategy?

Like any social media community, twitter is most valuable when you engage other members in meaningful communication, provide valuable information to the community, and then collaborate when given the opportunity. Antidote to the 4 Mistakes:

1. Stop collecting numbers by communicating with people, show you care, and get involved.

2. Go outside your real estate community and make new connections with people from other career paths. Also consider people with similar hobbies and interests as viable networking partners.

3. Stop Hard Selling and become a provider of valuable information. By doing this people will perceive you as a valuable resource and somebody to be read and respected.

4. Widen your subject matter for a more well rounded approach to your messages. Personalize and humanize by providing information about things other than your business. Create value for your business connections as well as your networking partners who have no business ties to you.

Realtor’s Virtual Sales Force: Leadvine-“The Community Is Your Sales Force”

LeadVine - The community is your sales force.

Courtesy Leadvine.com

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-14-08

Crowdsourcing according to the wiki by the same name is a term that “has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.” A new service, based on crowdsourcing principles, Leadvine is the first service designed to make “the community your sales force.”

Realtors Create A New Lead Generator

1. Post Sales Leads on Leadvine: You post the sales leads your are searching for, list your referral fee that you will pay, and then “have the community act as your sales force.” The benefits:

  • Increase Sales
  • Outsource your Sales Process
  • Lower your Marketing, Recruiting, and Advertising costs
  • Leadvine is Free

This begins the process of helping Realtor’s find new customers

2. Search Sales Leads on Leadvine: ” Do you come across information that is not valuable to you but valuable to someone else? Get paid for information that is at your finger tips.”

  • Earn easy money
  • Leverage your existing network to help companies increase sales
  • Make money for information you have at your fingertips
  • Spend a minimal amount of time earning extra cash

Resources for Realtors

1. Leadvine’s Top 10 Ways to Use Leadvine

2. FAQ Section: Everything from What is Leadvine to How was Leadvine Started?

3. Leadvine’s Blog: Many strategies and tips to help find business and make more revenue

Investor’s Warning: Ed Okun, FEA, Bonding & Insurance Still Major Barrier To Entry

Reuters.com published this deansguide article on 11-8-08

When deansguide readers have important comments that effect and provoke the thought process on a particular issue–we listen. When the comment comes from a very reliable source, a trusted confidant, and someone very close to a “situation”–we listen. And when that person is Elizabeth Callanan, one of the ‘experts’ following the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group debacle–we stand back and give her the floor.

Standards of Due Diligence

Elizabeth Callanan’s comment (11-9-08) and indictment of the 1031 industry’s lack of due diligence standards, the FEA’s less than honest assessment of their own insurance policies, and investor’s lack of investigation (electing to avoid massive taxes by choosing a 1031 exchange) is a cautionary warning-before you even think about this industry you must read this information.

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“I’m very interested in learning how prospective 1031 exchangers can “look at the longevity of ownership, management, and employees as well as bonding and insurance and experience.” In the case at least of the 1031’s quietly acquired by Ed Okun, who then proceeded to plunder the exchange funds held by each of them to acquire other 1031’s and finance his lavish lifestyle, nearly all of them had been in business for decades. The fact that the owners, in some cases known personally to exchangers over a long history of 1031 transactions, did not publicize or share with their client base the fact that they’d sold out to Okun and, in fact, remained on board in their former roles and capacities, along with their staffs, appears to have been part of a deliberate strategy (perhaps even a condition of the sale?) to hide from exchangers that any transfer of ownership had occurred. Where/how would a potential exchanger learn that ownership had changed? To what agency (federal, state, local) must a 1031 report its ownership. What requirements are there that demand that such information be published. What regulations or reporting exist governing the behavior and conduct of 1031’s at any level?

As to insurance, what should a prospective 1031 client look for in an insurance policy provided by a 1031? The fidelity bonds provided to customers of those acquired by Okun gave false assurances of coverage in the millions, but in fact, like the fidelity bond offered by the Federation of Exchange Accomodators (according to their website), “Q: How does the policy limit under the FEA Fidelity Bond apply to claims?
A: The policy limit applies on a “per occurrence” basis, meaning each separate loss event or series of related loss events has the full benefit of the policy limit. Losses are usually considered related, i.e. a single occurrence, if they arise out of the same set of circumstances. The limit does not apply per customer, per transaction or per account.” While exchangers to whom these Fidelity Bonds are routinely presented as some kind of assurance regarding the security of the funds held by the 1031 would reasonably interpret their transaction as the “per occurrence” covered by the bond value, FEA’s FAQ’s attempt to limit that coverage to each incident and insurers in the case of Okun are already attempting to construe him and his ongoing series of embezzlements from multiple 1031’s he acquired over time as a single occurrence. Since collectively he embezzled $150 plus million, these bonds are wholly inadequate in terms of providing any kind of security to exchangers. So, what should exchangers be demanding to see from prospective 1031’s they’re considering in order to assure themselves the 1031 is in fact a “safe harbor” and their funds will in fact not be absconded with? What regulations is the FEA promoting at any governmental level that would ensure the security of exchanger funds, the integrity of 1031’s, their owners and staff, and what penalties (criminal, financial, etc.) are they proposing in the event there is criminal activity?” –Elizabeth Callanan