What You’ve Tweeted about the Past Year via Tweet Cloud

Via Tweet Cloud, here’s what I’ve been tweeting about the past year:

According to Tweet Cloud, these are my most frequently used words:

  1. innovation
  2. blog
  3. post
  4. social
  5. thanks
  6. reading
  7. enterprise
  8. spigit
  9. friendfeed
  10. google
  11. people
  12. time
  13. cool
  14. tweet
  15. media
  16. tweets
  17. software
  18. business
  19. ideas
  20. love
  21. nice
  22. hamel
  23. yeah
  24. search
  25. facebook
  26. idea
  27. companies
  28. management
  29. company
  30. world

Surprises? Google coming in at #10. I love Google, but surprised I’ve mentioned them that much. And the amount of “positivity” in my tweets: “thanks”, “nice”, “cool”, “love”. You won’t see “hate” making the top 30.

Check yours out at Cloud Tweet. Heads up – it will automatically post a link to your tweet cloud on your Twitter account. This bugs many people who do not like the automatic nature of tweets on their behalf.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 112709

From the home office at a White House state dinner where I just wandered in uninvited…

#1: Time Magazine – The ’00s: Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade From Hell http://ow.ly/Gm0F

#2: Does driving adoption mean being off the point? http://ow.ly/FTza by @bduperrin Good riff on @rotkapchen‘s #e2conf proposal #e20

#3: Remember when Facebook’s Moskovitz left to start a #e20 company (http://bit.ly/5XSap0)? Asana just closed $9m http://bit.ly/6NBoce

#4: RT @merigruber 3 Engaging Platforms – Seriosity, @Spigit, @LithiumTech – New Blog Post: http://ow.ly/Ff24 #BizEx #Funware #e20

#5: These are some great drawings that illuminate the issues: Eight Ways to Kill an Idea http://ow.ly/EYaB #innovation

#6: NYT: The Influence of Zealous Employees http://bit.ly/7cWa4h There’s value in gap betw employees’ & customers’ view of firm (h/t @DUrbaniak)

#7: One of the better explanations of “design thinking”: Design Thinking + Innovation http://slidesha.re/3FxjEG #innovation

#8: Does Super-High IQ= Super-Low Common Sense? http://ow.ly/FLyL Answer? Yes – read about the Clever Sillies

#9: RT @KathySierra: Great writers, teachers, filmmakers, parents, developers, artists… all share a common practice: strategic unhelpfulness.

#10: http://twitpic.com/qjs7l – Every word is misspelled on this sign, but you’ll read it easily

The Annual Thanksgiving Tradition: Alice’s Restaurant

I wrote about Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant last year. So doing it a second year in a row qualifies it as a tradition of this blog now.

Why is Alice’s Restaurant associated with Thanksgiving? From Wikipedia:

Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” [sic] (commonly referred to simply as “Alice’s Restaurant“) is one of singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie’s most prominent works, a musical monologue based on a true story that began on Thanksgiving Day 1965, and which inspired a 1969 movie of the same name. In an interview for All Things Considered, Guthrie said the song points out that any American citizen who was convicted of a crime, no matter how minor (in his case, it was littering), could avoid being conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War.

Radio stations around the United states seem to play it around 12:00 noon every Thanksgiving. The song is a rollicking 18:33 journey through Arlo Guthrie’s classic guitar and great storytelling.

Below is a screenshot of the video. Embedding of the video has been disabled by request. Click the picture, and you’ll be taken to the video on YouTube.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blogging Those Tweets? Get Rid of the Nofollows

A regular habit I have is to blog My Ten Favorite Tweets for each week. These are my own tweets, and they mostly contain links to interesting things during the past seven days. One thing I’ve always liked is that I can give “link credit” to the sites that I include in these weekly posts. This blog has a pretty respectable Google pagerank, so it can help other sites posting good content.

But alas, I have come to learn something. Twitter inserts the “nofollow” attribute in any links included in tweets. What is a “nofollow”? From Wikipedia:

An HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.

When you paste a tweet from Twitter to your blog, the links include the “nofollow” attribute inserted by Twitter.  See below:

On FriendFeed, I asked some SEO-knowledgeable folks about this “nofollow” attribute I’ve been pasting in to my blog posts. AJ Kohn and Jimminy confirmed that because that “nofollow” is in there, the search engines aren’t giving link credit.

So the great content doesn’t get the credit in search engines it deserves. Now I need to go back and remove those pesky “nofollow” attributes.

Keep this mind if you paste tweets into your blog posts.

Being Upfront Gets Better Results than Trying to Sneak It By

Credit: dbking

I’m generally not tracking the “post ads to your social networks” movement, be it sponsored blog posts or tweeting ads to your followers on Twitter. There is one aspect to it that I think is most important: disclosure. Robert Scoble has a post up, More thoughts on in-Tweet advertising, where he notes that he unfollowed people on Twitter who were running ads:

So, I unfollowed and won’t be looking back. Actually I unfollowed Pirillo too. I don’t think he’s disclosed everything clearly or explained where his ads were coming from and until he does I’ll stay away.

His perspective reminded me of an experience I had years ago in the late 90s when I worked as an investment banker for Bank of America. It taught me the right way to disclose unsavory facts.

Selling a Superfund Deal: The Wrong Way

You know what the Superfund is? It’s the federal government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Throughout America, there are parcels of land with dangerous materials in them. Superfund is there to help get them cleaned up.

We had a client, a rising star in the software world, that need financing for a new headquarters in Mountain View, CA. A headquarters built on a Superfund site. That designation, from 8 years before, meant the land had been declared a hazardous waste site. By the time of the deal, the site itself was cleaned up, and was in an “operation and maintenance” phase. Its status was sufficient for the company to build on. But anything with “Superfund” on it is a big red flag in banking. And we knew it.

I was in the debt financing unit, and I worked with our real estate group on this one. After deliberating, we decided to bury the Superfund status deep in the materials selling the deal – in the prospectus, in the deal presentation. Act essentially as if it was a non-event.

Which at this point, was true. The property was clean and ready for development.

It was also a mistake.

Other banks got to the Superfund status of the site as they went through their analysis of the deal, and saw that it had an afterthought treatment. They didn’t like that.

And they didn’t participate in the deal at the levels we had expected. We got stuck with a larger percentage of the deal than we wanted. We scrambled, got one other bank to join and accepted holding a larger portion of the deal.

Wasn’t a pleasant experience. Nope, not at all.

Selling a Superfund Deal: The Right Way

It’s not often in life you get a chance to rectify a mistake so readily. But I did. Several months later, the software company approached us to increase the deal size, by nearly double. You might imagine the trepidation that request caused internally.

To raise double the amount, after having a number of banks turn us down, meant we were going to have to go much deeper in the market. It wouldn’t be easy.

We decided to do it, but with a big shift in approach. We led with the Superfund status. Put it out there, and directly address issues. Create a separate write-up that specifically addressed the Superfund status, the remediation efforts, and the reasons Bank of America was comfortable with it.

When I got out there and presented the deal at the prospective lenders meeting, I talked in detail about the Superfund site, upfront. Amazingly, no one got up and left the meeting. They seemed to take it in stride.

And the result? Easily got the larger deal done, and even increased its size a bit.

Lesson: Don’t Be Cute

What did I learn? People aren’t stupid. Treating them that way is a sure recipe to piss them off. Scoble’s comment illuminates that fact.

I’m not saying openly declared ads will be welcome, but for sure trying to slip ’em in to the tweet stream is the wrong way to go. There is a “right” way to go about this advertising thing, if it’s going to happen. Acknowledge people’s concerns, and address them intelligently. You’d be surprised the effect that has.

Don’t make your Twitter account a hazardous waste site.

UPDATE: I received an email from the EPA’s Superfund program manager regarding how to find information about Superfund site. I’ve posted it in the comments below.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 111909

From the home office in the restarted Cern Large Hadron Collider along the French-Swiss border…

#1: What Shaun White & Snowboarding Can Teach You About #Innovation http://ow.ly/E8h7 Get exposure for ideas early, so others can digest impact

#2: Managing Employee Innovation Communities (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/3SREBr #innovation #e20

#3: City of Manor’s “citizens’ innovation” project (using Spigit) is featured on WhiteHouse.gov blog: http://ow.ly/DURl #gov20

#4: RT @CarolineDangson #IDC Social Survey: workers say they use IM for ‘collaboration’ & social networks for ‘sharing’ – thinking about diff

#5: RT @rotkapchen: RT @wimrampen Social Media Disrupts Decision-Making Process http://bit.ly/2KTUIz (via @GrahamHill)

#6 RT @tjkeitt Starting the process of researching #e2.0 technology pushed into business processes (CRM, ERP, project management, etc.). This is the future.

#7: RT @kevinmarks says @Caterina “Google never got social software – Knol means you have to write a whole article; wikipedia combines tiny contributions” #w2e

#8: Pitching Sequoia? They want to know which deadly sin your company lets customers indulge in http://ow.ly/DGn1 by @glennkelman

#9: Checking out: The Awesomeness Manifesto http://ow.ly/DmID by @umairh Much to love in that one #innovation

#10: Time Magazine is apparently torn between naming Twitter or the Economy as its “Person” of the Year http://ow.ly/CRbB

Early Peek at Speaker Submissions for Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2010

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston Call for Papers has been open for a little over a week now. While the final number of speaker proposals will number in the hundreds (450+ for SF 2009), the initial 29 submissions are a rich vein of current thinking about Enterprise 2.0.

As you can see in the tag cloud from the site, the top tags so far for the proposed sessions are:

  1. technology adoption
  2. social media
  3. best practices
  4. knowledge management
  5. getting started
  6. learning
  7. business case

Technology is the top tag. There’s no denying that technology enables Enterprise 2.0. Adoption is running strong so far. Which is a pretty fair characterization of a key issue in the field. Social media comes on strong. There are plenty of conferences devoted to that topic, and here even a conference primarily addressing to internal collaboration has its share.

A Few of the Proposals

Based on page views, here are the five most popular submissions early on:

Three Keys to a Successful SharePoint Deployment (Rich Blank):

There are 3 keys to deploying SharePoint successfully for a large enterprise: Platform, Governance, and Marketing. The first part involves a stable, available, easily accessible, secure, well performing global technology platform. If users can’t access the environment, they won’t trust it or won’t use it. Next is governance – all things related to the overall project as well as the operational and support involved. Finally there is marketing — you need to market the application to end users, provide quick introductions to get them started, best practices, conduct demos that demonstrate business value, create proof of concepts, and show people what’s possible. You shouldn’t have to provide formal training if you market the application right. Each of these 3 are not mutually exclusive — you can’t have marketing without the platform and good governance.

Driving Adoption is anti-2.0 (Paula Thornton):

There’s way too much 1.0-thinking being applied to the 2.0 era. “Driving adoption” is the antithesis of the fundamental premises of 2.0. Starting with 2.0 axioms is critical to guide any 2.0 initiative.

Connecting the Dots to Competitive Advantage (Jon Ingham):

Enterprise 2.0 can increase efficiencies and help meet business objectives but it can also generate competitive advantage.  To create higher levels of value, the use of social technologies needs to be linked to other organizational enablers, eg HR practices, OD interventions, facilities design etc.  This session will show how.

Lessons from Religion about Evangelizing Enterprise 2.0 (Gil Yehuda):

The E2.0 marketplace has evangelists, non-believers, and faith-based ROI models. But the workplace is modeled after the hierarchy of government and the meritocracy of the marketplace. Wherein lies community? As it turns out, religion can teach us about the nature of community in context of preparing the workplace for E2.0.

Moving Beyond Email — Barriers to Knowledge Management (James Rosen):

Email is fast, free, and easy to use, but it has many limitations, especially in an enterprise context. Yet many employees, especially baby-boomers, rely on it nearly exclusively. This talk examines the use cases for which email is the wrong tool, and how to move to better ones.

That’s just a few of them, check ’em all out. And be ready to vote come January 2010.