Portrait of a Blogger by a Young Fan

May 30, 2011 by Dave McClintock | 0 comments

My daughter recently discovered this in a sketchbook – it’s a portrait of me from two years ago, when she was eight. Propped up with my laptop on a lap desk, I’m well stocked with news and candy.  She knows me well :o)

If you use e-mail marketing, telemarketing, or direct mail, check out my roundup of four services (Jigsaw, InfoUSA, Hoover’s, and Sales Genie), “When You’re Hungry for Sales, Consider These Lead-Gen Tools.”

Here’s a snippet:

Using a mix of advanced online searching and old-fashioned elbow grease, sales-lead generators gather, cross-reference, clean, and deliver email, phone, and postal data, often matched with business intelligence, such as employee-growth rate, initial public offering history, office square footage, and salary information. Besides selecting targets by number of employees and industry, you often can aim within a radius of ZIP codes you designate.

Whether you want to shake out new contacts on your home turf, or cast a wider net, your dollars can buy you time to spend on the rest of your to-do list. Below, we survey four of these services, Jigsaw, InfoUSA, Hoover’s and Sales Genie.

March 3, 2011
by Dave McClintock

Here Comes the Sun – It’s Taking Initiative

Three friends just had babies, two nieces and an honorary nephew had birthdays, two friends dodged an earthquake, and a friend with a wife and two kids just landed a finance job after a long post-meltdown stretch. Let’s keep that sun coming.

Let’s keep it going. One friend just opened a new office for her practice, and one friend left a giant company to co-found his own company – and was pleasantly surprised to win the giant company as one of his first clients! And one friend’s long-time dream start-up was just funded by investors. Woo hoo! 

I have to go on: One friend switched from real estate to filmmaking and is writing/directing/starring  in his own movie; one friend is finishing a two-year career plan to go work in China; one genius songwriter friend is posting her own videos to YouTube; one genius technical author friend is self-publishing his fiction; one genius painter friend is on the wagon and creating some of his best work ever …

Boy, you can see a lot once you start looking :o) I’m getting a boost just reciting their accomplishments. Actually, it’s not so much about accomplishments or good luck or things or money – it’s the initiative they’re taking. (Gotta tip my hat to Seth Godin on that.)

January 30, 2011
by Dave McClintock

Remembering the Real Mick

My Grandpa passed away on January 12th. He would have been 96 yesterday. One summer, he played this song for me (Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called), in between some Tennessee Ernie Ford and country classics, while he drove me through my family’s hometown of Monticello, Indiana.

Always up for hard candy, a snort of brandy, some KFC, and a laugh, Papa John – or Mick, as they called him at work – had a tough childhood, orphaned as a teenager. Leading a mule cart at the limestone quarry, delivering papers, laying railroad track in the CCC, becoming foreman at the RCA TV cabinetry shop – crafting products that were truly Made in the USA. His forearms had the girth of my legs. We had great times shooting baskets out by the barn, sitting on the porch swing, going to Dairy Queen. The man would eat raw onions from his vegetable patch.

He wasn’t perfect, and those closest to him knew him best, I know. But I only received love and generosity from him, much undeservedly, especially in his last years. May he rest in peace.

May 2, 2010
by Dave McClintock
1 Comment

Got Trash? Reframing with Price and Packaging

As this Rocketboom story explains, nycgarbage.com sells cubes of NYC trash — artfully arranged — at $50 a box.

What’s interesting is that what started as a proof of the power of packaging turned into a proof of the power of pricing — increasing from $10 per cube to $50.  Ultimately, the success of the product and the pricing seems to have improved its quality, too — it’s somewhat curated, and more than a careless scoop of litter.

So, think about your content, services, and products.  What’s trash to you — and could it be repurposed into something meaningful to others?  Could the process of packaging and pricing lead you to view it as more than trash — as a product worthy of your brand?

February 21, 2010
by Dave McClintock

iPad Launch: My Two Cents

PragPub MagazineI do some editing and copywriting for a computer-book publisher, Pragmatic Bookshelf, but I was pleasantly surprised when its magazine editor, Michael Swaine, asked me to comment on the iPad for PragPub magazine, just a day after Steve Jobs’ announcement.

Click here to visit the PragPub Website.

“This is an Age-of-Aquarius moment for publishing,” I say. “Authors will have more freedom (and some expectations) to realize those multimedia dreams of the 90s.”

December 4, 2009
by Dave McClintock

Michael Wesch’s Web 2.0 Video

Professor Michael Wesch created the following video – it’s “Web 2.0 in five minutes” – using “CamStudio for the screen captures and Sony Vegas for the panning/cropping/zooming animations.”

Beyond the content itself—remarkably current for a March 2007 release—we should study this use of media.  It represents an emerging (if not “new”) way for businesses and thinkers to present information.

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

December 4, 2009
by Dave McClintock

Facebook Pages: Where Fans Count

In a post on MediaBistro’s PRNewser (Nov. 30, 2009), Joe Ciarallo cites a study by Sysomos that asserts that only 23% of Facebook pages have more than 1,000 fans.

On Facebook, brands and bands and other organizations can create a page account that draws fans rather than friends. Fans of a page subscribe to its news items and can post on the page.

The Wordsupply page has just joined the 95% of sites that have more than 10 fans. (Become a Wordsupply fan on Facebook—update your status and help us break 100! :o)

But even for B2C brands—which may seem more likely to draw numerous fans—it’s tough to lure Facebookers away from the comfort of their Home page news streams.

The pages with the most fans feature celebrities and universal ideas like “Flipping the Pillow Over to Get to the Cold Side,” which boasts 2.9 million fans.

But rather than be discouraged by these stats, we are intrigued. Millions of people are using Facebook, fanning pages, joining groups, reading news, and spreading the word. Whether you work as an individual or organization, offering a service or a product, you must create a page and offer your stream.

You can create a page yourself—and claim your brand name: Just go to Facebook and follow the instructions to create a page.

(And if you need help, Wordsupply is ready to start the news stream and keep it flowing!)

November 2, 2009
by Dave McClintock

Discipline: November Is for Writing

NaNoWriMoThis post is about a different kind of contract—it’s the contract you make with yourself as a writer.

Thanks to National Novel Writing Month—NaNoWriMo—November has become an annual fest of unfettered word-cranking.

Participants are encouraged to write at least 50,000 words from scratch.  Your inner wordsmith gets the keys to a gassed-up muscle car and an endless row of green lights.  Your internal editor gets locked in the trunk or ditched at the rest stop.

What’s new this year is that a computer-book publisher I’m starting to edit and acquire for, Pragmatic Bookshelf, is encouraging would-be high-tech authors to write in November. The result is editor/author Daniel Steinberg’s PragProWriMo.

No participating authors are under any obligation to submit their results to Pragmatic, and I’m not directly involved—I’m just cheering this on.  (Personally, I may do NaNoWriMo to finally finish my coming-of-age novel!)

Here are the PragProWriMo mechanics:

If you are on Twitter, just tweet when you have finished your writing for the day. Use the tag #pragprowrimo and let us know what you wrote and how it went.

If you’re not on Twitter go ahead and post your progress in the comments to this blog. Somewhere you need to declare what you’ve done. It will keep you writing.

The only rule is to keep writing. Other than that, have fun and check back in with us to let us know how it’s going.

Deadlines work, and I hope this helps!  Leave a comment to let us know if you’re trying NaNoWriMo or PragProWriMo!

October 28, 2009
by Dave McClintock

Authors: See Gary Crush It!

Crush It! by Gary VaynerchukFrom my perspective, Gary Vaynerchuk—the boy from Belarus who grew his family’s liquor store in New Jersey into a multimillion-dollar business, and who is now teaching others to use customer service (especially via social media) to grow their businesses—has set a new standard for all authors supporting their books.

I’m piecing together a write-up of his efforts—and maybe a college course—but check out GaryVaynerchuk.com and his Twitter account to see how he spent several months engaging his audience and building anticipation for the October 2009 release of his book, Crush It!, which as Gary announced should hit #2 this Sunday in The New York Times.

For an example of Gary’s promotional efforts, consider his “experience” bundles, offered through his site: http://crushitbook.com/crush-it-the-experience/. If you buy 35, you get a personalized video; if you buy 150, you get an hour on Skype; and so on. This sets an expectation for bulk sales—which I think motivates single-copy sales—and demonstrates the way premium/ancillary offerings will help authors sell books in a world in which content is expected to be (nearly) free. [Authors: What experiences or ancillary offerings can you share?]

In line with his belief in contact and word-of-mouth promotions, Gary hosted a launch party last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn—very cool bar and performance space—exposed brick and rafters, cement floor, set in a warehouse. Gary went through the crowd, thanking everyone.

On stage, Gary said he sees himself benefiting from the “thank-you economy,” in which the people who have received his free videos and advice are purchasing his book out of gratitude. He said that his success comes from actually caring about his audience—by giving, he is getting. [Authors: How can you give to, care for, and support your audience?]

He showed a video preview of the “vook” edition of his book. The vook combines text, animation, music, voiceovers, and still photos. Then, with help from the crowd and verification from the yellow-blazered judges from the Universal Record Database—Gary set the universal record for most glasses clinked in one minute! Closing out the night, Clabo performed the “Crush It!” rap for charity—each $.99 download will feed six in Haiti. See below.

Let me round out this post—a sort of long thank-you to Gary, actually—by embedding two other videos: His powerful presentation at MediaBistro’s Circus in August 2009, and his adventurous Wine Library tasting of the best pairings for breakfast cereal.

[[Update: Sorry, the MediaBistro video went off-line. Definitely check out Gary’s keynotes.]]

See the full-sized version here: http://tv.winelibrary.com/2009/09/08/what-wine-pairs-with-cereal-episode-734/