Posts Tagged: technology

Maine: Thirsty For Knowledge

I’ve been spending more and more time in Maine in the last year helping folks learn new ways of doing business. Recently I spoke at Social Media FTW in Portland, ME and at Accelerate Maine in Bangor, ME. Social Media FTW had nearly 500 attendees, and Accelerate Maine had nearly 200 – that’s a lot of people who want to know how to be better at business in a technological age.

Here are my slides from both presentations, and a huge thank you to both conferences for having me speak.

Social Media FTW, Portland, ME, September, 2010

Accelerate Maine, Bangor, ME, October 2010

On Perception

I hoped that the volume of people pinging me after Chris discussed his rates would die down, but since it didn’t, I thought I’d quickly answer the questions. While I’m at it, I thought I’d talk a bit about perception and worth. Enjoy.

Justin Kownacki’s post, referenced in the video, can be found here (and seriously, if Justin isn’t on your daily read list, you are missing out).

Douglas Rushkoff‘s book Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back
can be purchased here (affiliate link).

And last but not least, a link to the Pick My Brain experiment, for those to pressed for time (or lazy) to scroll down.

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*the legal beagle yelled at me for not inserting something about “rates may change” in future. (I mean, duh, right?) So, there ya go, to make the legals happy.

CEO On The Go: Mobile Office Toolbox

It’s time to open the tool box again, and talk about tools for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners or CEOs who are always on the go. We discussed before that a good tool kit for managing social media is essential, but your business is about more than just engaging online. If you are like me, you find yourself needing to work or manage the office on the go.

Some of the tools I use to manage my business are tools I also use to manage and monitor my social media and online life as well. You’ll see those on both the “social media toolbox” list and the “CEO on the go toolbox” list. Also, it’s notable that several of the tools on both lists have had significant upgrades in recent months that make them even more integrated, collaborative with other tools, and useful.

As a refresher, my social media toolbox post highlighted: Evernote, Shareaholic (FireFox, Safari), Ping.fm, Ubiquity/FireFox, TweetDeck, TextExpander, Quicksilver, Google stuff, my HTC Mogul PDA and my MacBook. Expect an updated post on my social media tools to drop here or elsewhere soon, as some of those have been adjusted with passing time. You’ll notice that Evernote makes an appearance on both lists, and with good reason – the company introduced some nice on-the-go integrations recently.

So how do I run my business on the fly? It’s important for me to have as much data as possible accessible from anywhere. This means that I use a lot of web based solutions. Until they make a 1TB USB Flash thumb drive (and consider this an official “would someone PLEASE make one?” request), I can’t fit all of my data into any lightweight portable form to take with me. If you are a CEO with a MacBook Air or a netbook, this is doubly true for you – you have even less storage and need computing from the cloud solutions even more.

Equipment

My most essential tools are my MacBook and my HTC Mogul PDA. All of the tools I use for my business are accessible at least in basic form from both (some of the mobile sites leave something to be desired, but I find this true of many mobile sites). Along with that, I carry the chargers with me, which takes up valuable space in my League of Awesomeness laptop bag. Since power is key and cords are bulky, I am researching adding one of these to my arsenal. I also keep my iPod on me with a backup of my presentations, in case something horrible happens to the laptop – color me paranoid, but you never know.

Services

Evernote

Yes, Evernote is on both lists. It is a powerful, flexible way to annotate and track your life and business. I talked about the desktop and web plug in features in the last post. What makes it even more effective are the way it integrates these features into your mobile life. Evernote on my phone lets me keep track of anything I’m doing. I can handwrite a note using Ink Note; I can record a meeting, sing a song I’m writing, speak a poem or story idea I have or give myself a quick voice reminder using Audio Note; I can take a picture of anything and record it with the Photo Note feature; I can even send myself files and text notes. Evernote upped the game recently for this heavy Twitter user by allowing me to link my Twitter account to my Evernote account. By then following @myEV on Twitter, I can DM myself notes and reminders and links to add to my Evernote storage as well. With tagged search and other features, all of my notes are easy to find and ready for me to come back to the next time I load up the desktop app or go to the web site. I can even share the notes with people working on a project with me.

Freshbooks

I can not say enough nice things about FreshBooks. They recently won a Webware 100 award, and with good reason. This accounting solution is lightweight, easy to learn, easy to use and flexible enough to incorporate several other on-the-go tools to make it easier to track time, expenses, calls and more. I love that I can create estimates and invoices for my clients that include action items, allowing them to link to the live estimate or invoice and make change requests, accept the terms, pay online and more. It’s very convenient on both sides. Not only that, the customer who has an ongoing project can log in and track time spent on their project, see progress reports and more. It handles staff that work for you as well as clients, and now it is going social – allowing freelancers and subcontractors to link to projects as well, creating a network of people I work and collaborate with. I use this every day, either via the web client, the time tracking widget for my MacBook, my phone (using other services to text in time tracked, expense, or calls made) and more. An ideal accounting solution for the small to medium business that integrates with applications like Xpenser, SkyDeck, etc and exports compatible file types to other accounting software as well.

Xpenser

This little tool let’s me send a tweet, an email, an IM or an SMS from my phone to track expenses. It tracks mileage, meals, time on a project, and more. All you have to do is link it to FreshBooks using the FreshBooks API and it sends all of these expenses to FreshBooks to be associated with a client and project. It also offers a full slate of reports and other features to make it a good stand alone solution for export to desktop accounting programs.

SkyDeck

Another tool that integrates with FreshBooks, allowing me to sync my calls from my cell phone into my FreshBooks account and associate them with a client or project for billing time. It also has some pretty nifty other features, like being able to make a text or call right from the application, see who you call most, get reports to your email on your cell phone usage and even get nudged if you used to talk to someone and don’t call them as much anymore. There is a social aspect to SkyDeck, as it lets you connect with your friends who also use it, a nice touch.

Kall8

The Magnitude Media 800 number is run through a company called Kall8. It costs very little money to run the line, and comes with some nice features. A favorite is call block per number – you can log into the web site and block a number if you get put on a fax machine auto dial list or a telemarketer gets around the National DNC list somehow. This is very handy. Since it is web based, you can forward your calls anywhere you are, receive web based faxes (and send them), get voicemail and more.

YouMail

You may be thinking I spend a lot of time using call management solutions. I do. The less time I spend on the phone, the more work I get done, so I have several options for filtering calls. In addition to Kall8, I use YouMail. YouMail gives me the Caller ID of every caller, shows me when a friend is calling, but most importantly for this woman who hates to waste time checking voice mail, it transcribes my voice mail to text messages for me. Fantastic feature, and a total time saver.

PockeTwit

This Twitter client from Google Code is wonderful. It gives you an attractive, iPhone-like Twitter experience complete with avatars and a full feature set (as well as interacting with other services, like identi.ca, etc) for your WinMo Touch phone. The fact that I can use features like favorite, retweet and more while on the go is invaluable for me, as a heavy Twitter user.

QIK

This live streaming video solution for my phone lets me grab events and interviews on the fly and share them immediately without needing a ton of expensive equipment.

Contxts

Contxts give you Paperless Business Cards. Text geechee_girl to short code 50500 and you’ll see what I mean and why these are so handy.

Google Docs

I use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office when traveling, as it lets me access my work from anywhere. At the home office I use iWork instead of Office, which imports and exports Google and Microsoft compatible formats.

Small Notepad and a Pen

Trust me, even with a phone and laptop on you, there will always be an occasion to use the old fashioned pen and paper when you are traveling. Your IMAP Gmail may hang up or fail, you may need to write notes larger than a business card back, your battery may run out of juice – stuff happens. Be prepared.

And there you have it, the tools that let me run two businesses, plan events like SMBNH and PodCamp NH, advise companies and write for my freelance writing clients while I’m on the go. What’s in your toolbox for business or for social media?


Disclosure: some links in this blog will be affiliate links

Your 2009 Tech and Media Outlook

2008 was a big year. An economic recession, presidential election and wild weather certainly made the year exciting; for tech and media, we saw the continued adoption of smartphones, the advent of online mobile application stores, the success of Twitter, and an increase in the use of social media tools by both young and old.

And 2009 should have a few big stories up its sleeve as well. There’s a lot coming, and hopefully most will be good. Here’s what I see happening…

T-Mobile’s G1: not quite Ponies and Rainbows

Of course, now that I said that, some bored software junky will design the “Ponies and Rainbows” app for the G1 just to spite me.  I won’t be too heartbroken.

Probably everything you’ve heard about Google, T-Mobile and HTC’s new superchild, the G1 handset, is that it is the phone that will revolutionize the handset industry, take open software to a new level, and most significantly, crush the iPhone betwixt its powerful jaws (or something to that effect).  I won’t refute that completely, but there are some points I feel the mainstream media is leaving out when it comes to T-Mo’s new flagship device.

Topics on Fire, Episode 7: Politics and Social Media/Technology

The show was a lively one. The panelists were fantastic, and we opened up the phone lines at the end for broader discussion as well. Each person on the call gave a take-away for the listeners before we signed off for the night, something they could do to bring politics into their lives using online tools and social media.

 

Tonight’s Topics on Fire will be a lively one, as the topic is Politics and Social Media / Technology. Catch it live at 11 PM Eastern on TalkShoe.

Leslie Bradshaw from New Media Strategies and JESS3 will be joining us on the panel. Leslie is a frequent panelist here at Topics on Fire and was on the episode that generated the Strong Women in Tech initiative.

Sadly, Leslie Bradshaw is ill. Taking her place will be Andrew Feinberg of Capitol Valley and Technosailor.

New panelists this week are Justin Herman, creator of the Voter Registration Night with the Nationals and the Mets and former Hill staffer and Amy Greenlaw of PortalVideo.

Tune in on TalkShoe at 11PM Eastern and participate in chat. If you follow the call on TalkShoe you also get notified when each new episode is coming up.

Topics on Fire, Episode 6: Part Two of Gender Gap and Technology/New Media

Brief after show recap: This was a great episode where we got some major goals accomplished. I will be writing a full recap tomorrow here. Meanwhile, I encourage you to listen to the podcast and join the resulting Strong Women in Tech campaign network as well.

The final panel for Episode 6 of Topics on Fire has been set and the topic will be Part Two of Gender Gap / Technology/New Media. Myself (Leslie Poston), Shireen Mitchell of Women Wired In, Leslie Bradshaw (recently featured on CSPAN covering the conventions), Meg Fowler of MegFowler.com (currently helping promote SM4SC.com), and Jen Nedeau will be paneling this discussion. Tonight’s podcast will be solution focused, as Part One zeroed in on defining the issues.

“Follow” the show on TalkShoe or stop back here for updates on each episode and notifications that a new episode is coming.

The first podcast on the Gender Gap and Technology was a lively one. As you all know I am always trying to push for real world solutions to the problems we talk about, and we didn’t come up with takeaways in the limited time the panel had to discuss it. Because of that, I’m scheduling a Part 2. I’m hoping that the same panel is willing to come back and take a different approach: instead of rehashing the existing and past issue of gender and technology, as valid as that is, I’d like to start Part 2 by stipulating that the problem exists and acknowledging that strong men and women have done much to pave the way for women in technology. Then I’d like to make the sole goal of Part 2 finding tangible ways to help women feel less disenfranchised in technology, to help women get access to technology for careers and educations and as many other solutions as we can think of in an hour of positive, focused, goal oriented discussion.

Future Topics on Fire Episodes include:

(as panelists confirm I will post them next to the podcast)

10/19 11PM Eastern Episode 7, Politics and Technology (Leslie Bradshaw, remaining panelists yet to be determined)

Topics On Fire: Episode 5, Education and New Media

Topics on Fire, Episode 5: Education and Social Media/Technology on Sunday, September 21st at 11:00 PM Eastern on TalkShoe

Tonight’s podcast will be a good one! We’ll be discussing education and new media, social media and technology with Dave LaMorte, John Herman and E. Christopher Clark.

I’m hoping to cover a lot of ground in an hour, so I won’t be opening up the phone lines until the recording is over. I know I usually let listeners call in ten minutes before the end, and I will be doing that again in the next podcast (part two of the gender gap topic). Our panelists are all active educators and need their rest for Monday morning school. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you can’t come participate in the lively chat room. We can see it while in the call and can handle questions live on air that way.

If you want to be notified of future podcasts, sign up for a TalkShoe account and “follow” the call. I send a reminder the day of the call to those who follow it.

See you there!

NOTE: We also have a new forum to give you a place to carry the discussions from the podcasts over into the real world, submit topic ideas, talk about social media, promote events, etc. You can SIGN UP FOR THE NEW FORUM right here.

Tonight’s Call:

Next Topics on Fire continues the conversation on Gender Gap and Technology, this time focusing on solutions and not rehashing the problem:

10/5 11PM Eastern Topics on Fire: Episode 6, Gender Gap and Technology Part 2 (Panelists: Corvida, Leslie Bradshaw, Micah Baldwin, Meg Fowler, Jen Nedeau)

Future episodes and panelists include:

10/19 11PM Eastern Topics on Fire: Episode 7, Politics and Technology (Leslie Bradshaw)

Topics on Fire Episode 4: Gender Gap and Technology

The final panel for Episode 4 of Topics on Fire has been set and the topic will be Gender Gap / Technology. Myself (Leslie Poston), Shireen Mitchell of Women Wired In, Leslie Bradshaw (recently featured on CSPAN covering the conventions), Meg Fowler of MegFowler.com (currently helping promote SM4SC.com), Micah Baldwin of CurrentWisdom and Lijit, Chris Brogan (social media guru and PodCamp Boston co-founder) have all signed on, with Aaron Brazell from Technosailor possibly joining us also, schedule permitting.

“Follow” the show on TalkShoe or stop back here for updates on each episode and notifications that a new episode is coming.

Listen to the podcast here, or via TalkShoe or iTunes subscription:

The podcast on the Gender Gap and Technology was a lively one. As you all know I am always trying to push for real world solutions to the problems we talk about, and we didn’t come up with takeaways in the limited time the panel had to discuss it this week. Because of that, I’m scheduling a Part 2. I’m hoping that the same panel is willing to come back and take a different approach: instead of rehashing the existing and past issue of gender and technology, as valid as that is, I’d like to start Part 2 by stipulating that the problem exists and acknowledging that strong men and women have done much to pave the way for women in technology. Then I’d like to make the sole goal of Part 2 finding tangible ways to help women feel less disenfranchised in technology, to help women get access to technology for careers and educations and as many other solutions as we can think of in an hour of positive, focused, goal oriented discussion.

If you were a panelist on the show and would like to come back for part 2 to finish the discussion we started, please let me know via email, Direct Message or in comments.

Future Topics on Fire Episodes include:

(as panelists confirm I will post them next to the podcast)

9/21 11PM Eastern Episode 5, Education and Technology (John Herman, E Christopher Clark)

10/5 11PM Eastern Episode 6, Gender Gap and Technology Part 2 (Corvida, Leslie Bradshaw, Micah Baldwin, Meg Fowler, Jen Nedeau)

10/19 11PM Eastern Episode 7, Politics and Technology (Leslie Bradshaw)

Topics on Fire, Episode 3: Generation Gap and Technology

Topics on Fire is one of the many ways I’ve been tying to make social media effect real world change. This is a topic near and dear to my heart these days (you can tell, I went so far as to submit a panel for SXSW on the idea, which you can find, and vote on, here). The first two episodes talked about the poverty gap and technology and ways to use social media to bridge the gap, and led to a companion piece on Technosailor here on the Hidden Human Costs of the Government Going Green.

This week’s podcast will talk about the Generation Gap and Technology and ways to solve the problem/bridge the gap. We have a stellar cast of panelists and what looks like it will be a lively chat room, so please stop by Sunday night, August 24th at 11:00 PM Eastern to the TalkShoe podcast here. As a rule I only allow the panelists to talk for the main podcast, however; if you have a TalkShoe account I do tend to open all mics at the end for everyone to weigh in.

Moderating: me (Leslie Poston

Representing the Millenials / Generation Y we have Ben Grossman of the PlenaryGroup and creator of the famed TalkToRunningMan.com campaign and in chat Michael J Cohen, programmer and web designer

Representing the Generation X / Slacker Generation we have Jim Keenan of Cre8Buzz, myself and Gradon Tripp of DesignBoston (schedule permitting)

Representing the Baby Boomer generation we have Jack Herman of Barnhouse Lighting (and father of John Herman, Gravityland.com creator) and Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research

I got a phenomenal response to my call for panelists on this topic. I chose panelists in the order they shouted their interest. If you weren’t chosen, I do hope you come to the chat and participate so we can benefit from what you have to say. If you have an agenda item suggestion for us on this topic, please leave it in the comments.

See you all there!

The call recording is on TalkShoe and in the sidebar of this blog. You can also subscribe in iTunes under Topics on Fire 🙂