Aug 10, 2010

E-mail Campaign Do’s

The goal is to connect and engage with a targeted group of potential customers, followers, partners, and other people you’re trying to influence with your personal brand.

So, take in consideration this tips for your e-mail campaign:

* Keep it short—1-2 paragraphs is great.

* Keep it relevant and add value.

* Send an email out every 21-30 days.

* Include 3-4 links to internal website pages, your LinkedIn profile, or articles or other content you’ve written.

* Include an offer only for email recipients.

* Make sure your subject line rocks. Check out this from Marketing Sherpa.

* Follow CAN-SPAM guidelines and always offer an opt-out.

More information...

Apr 20, 2010

Overload: doing many things at once can make us less efficient

(Fragment of article written By John Naish, for

Multi-tasking has rapidly taken over our lives, to the point where we look woefully lax if we’re doing just one thing at a time.

We think nothing of texting while also watching television, surfing the internet and talking to our family.

Indeed, drug companies are busy developing products to enhance our mental efficiency so that we can do even more.

But scientists are discovering that today’s mania for cramming everything in at once is creating a perilous cocktail of brain problems, from severe stress and rage in adults to learning problems and autism-like behaviour in children.

It also, ironically, often makes us less efficient. Advances in medical-scanning technology mean we can now watch what happens in the brain when people try to perform more than one complex task at a time. And the news isn’t good.

The human brain doesn’t multi-task like an expert juggler; it switches frantically between tasks like a bad amateur plate-spinner.

The constant effort this requires means that doing even just two or three things at once puts far more demand on our brains compared with if we did them one after another.

The pioneer of this research is Professor Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He scanned volunteers’ heads while they performed different tasks and found that when there is a group of visual stimulants in front of you, only one or two things tend to activate your brain, indicating we’re really only focusing on one or two items.

In other words, our brains have to skitter to and fro inefficiently between tasks. But the real problem occurs when we try to concentrate on the two tasks we are dealing with, because this then causes an overload of the brain’s processing capacity.

This is particularly true when we try to perform similar tasks at the same time - such as writing an email and talking on the phone - as they compete to use the same part of the brain. As a result, your brain simply slows down.

Even just thinking about multi-tasking can cause this log-jam, as Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at the University of London, reported a few years ago.


Apr 14, 2010

Are you a Supertasker?

Interesting thoughts from Cody Burke, a senior analyst at Basex.

"...We all believe we are special. Indeed, that’s why we would all likely be in agreement that talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous and should not be done.

Yet when push comes to shove, we may make exceptions for ourselves, and take a call that comes in while we careen down the freeway.

We tell ourselves that we can handle it, that we are adept multitaskers, or supertaskers, even as we give dirty looks to others doing the same thing.

It appears that some of us are right about being supertaskers, but it is probably not who you think (meaning not you)."

Keep reading...

Apr 5, 2010

Are web sources credible?

That overly broad question is based on the false premise that Web sources are more or less of equal quality.

Instead, ask two targeted questions:

1) How much trust — or how little trust — should one place in specific Internet sources?

2) what are meaningful criteria for answering that kind of question?

But you can learn to evaluate the credibility of Internet sources systematically.

You can do this evaluation by answering some basic questions.

* Who is the author? (individual, corporate, pseudonymous…)

* How qualified is the person or organization responsible for the website or e-mail communication?

* Are primary and secondary sources for claimed facts cited clearly enough?

* Is this website logically organized?

Read other Vincent Pollard's thoughts about the credibility of Internet information in his article.

Feb 28, 2010

Information has gone from scarce to superabundant

Special report from Te Economist on managing information.

Data, data everywhere. That brings huge new benefits, but also big headaches.

The world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information which is getting ever vaster ever more rapidly. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on.

Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and hold governments to account.

But they are also creating a host of new problems. Despite the abundance of tools to capture, process and share all this information—sensors, computers, mobile phones and the like—it already exceeds the available storage space.

Moreover, ensuring data security and protecting privacy is becoming harder as the information multiplies and is shared ever more widely around the world.

There are many reasons for the information explosion. The most obvious one is technology. As the capabilities of digital devices soar and prices plummet, sensors and gadgets are digitising lots of information that was previously unavailable. And many more people have access to far more powerful tools.

See the hole report...

Feb 7, 2010

Top 10 mistakes managers make with email

Many of us think we use email well. But the true is we don't.

Too many of us rush, causing confusion and requiring more time to clarify misunderstandings later.

We miss chances to build relationships, motivate others, close deals and convey important information.

Usual mistakes made by managers, at all levels:

1. Using vague subject lines. "Meeting," "Update," or "Question" provide no value as subject lines.

2. Burying the news. Convey the important points first: put dates, deadlines and deliverables in the first one to three lines of the message.

3. Hiding behind the "BCC" field. At best, the 'blind copy' field is sneaky and risky.

4. Failing to clean up the mess of earlier replies/forwards. Few readers will wade through strings of previous messages.

5. Ignoring grammar and mechanics. PDAs have granted us certain sloppy flexibility, which means you'll impress readers even more when you write precisely.

6. Avoiding necessarily long emails. Longer messages sometimes work best; they can help avoid attachments' hassle and security fuss.

7. Mashing everything together into bulky, imposing, inaccessible paragraphs. Length does not discourage reading; bulk does.

8. Neglecting the human beings at the other end. Email travels between actual people, even though we don't see or hear each other directly.

9. Thinking email works best. Email is not always the best way to communicate.

10. Forgetting that email lasts forever. Most of us read, send and discard emails at lightning speeds.

Read full article on

Feb 2, 2010

Survey of executives finds a growing fear of cyberattacks

Cyberattacks are a growing threat to the critical infrastructure underlining modern society, according to a survey of 600 computing and computer-security executives in 14 nations conducted by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Study director cites findings that 50 percent of respondents believe they have already been the target of sophisticated government hackers.

More than half of the polled executives say that their own country's laws do not adequately discourage cyberattacks, and the three most vulnerable nations are identified as the United States, China, and Russia.

Forty percent of executives are anticipating a major cybersecurity incident in their sector within the next year, while all but 20 percent project such an incident occurring within five years.

The report indicates that the growing use of Internet-based networks "creates unique and troubling vulnerabilities," although the authors stop short of urging a complete partitioning of systems and the open Internet.

Full Article (New York Times).

Jan 28, 2010

What can be done to compensate impersonal nature of email in business negotiations?

Realizing that the lack of rapport created through "e-negotiation" could lead to poorer outcomes for all parties, researches thought:

What if negotiators get to know a little bit about one another’s background before negotiations takes place?

To test this idea, researchers paired up students enrolled at two elite US business schools and had them negotiate a deal via email.

To a half were simply given instructions to negotiate. The other half were provided with a picture of the negotiating partner, some brief biographical information about the partner, and instructions to spend some time before start negotiation process.

When the participants were given no additional information, 29% came to an impasse and failed to agree on a deal.

Although, only 6% of more informed negotiators pair came to an impasse.

So, by taking the time to disclose something personal about yourself and your online counterpart, you will improve your negotiations outcomes.

See studies:
* Long and short routes to success in electronically mediated negotiations.
* Schmooze or lose: Social friction and lubrication in e-mail negotiations.

Jan 19, 2010

It’s okay to use a computer to persuade, but don’t act like one when you do

How is a process like negotiation affected by whether it takes place online or face-to-face?

The lack of personal contact between negotiating parties have the potential to act more like a roadblock than a route to successful outcomes?

In one experiment, MBA students negotiated with one another either face-to-face or by email.

When all was said and done, those who negotiated through email exchanged far less of the kind of personal information that typically helps people establish better rapport.

Past research has indicated that rapport helps negotiators overcome interpersonal friction and find cooperative agreements.

Jan 11, 2010

Why we don't care about information overload?

(Excerpt from article by Tom Davenport)

If information overload is such a problem, why don't we do something about it?

We could if we wanted to. How many of us bother to tune our spam filters?

How many of us turn off the little evanescent window in Outlook that tells us we have a new email?

Who signs off of social media because there's just too much junk?

Who turns off their BlackBerry or iPhone in meetings to ensure no distractions?

Nobody, that's who — or very few souls anyway.

Why? First, there is the everlasting hope of something new and exciting.

Our work and home lives can be pretty boring, and we're always hoping that something will come across the ether that will liven things up.

If I turn up the filtering on the spam filter or turn off the smartphone, I might miss out on an email promising a new job, a text message offering a new relationship, an RSS feed with a new news item, and so forth.

Every new communication offers the frisson of a possible life-changing information event, though it seldom delivers on the promise.

Read full article.