7 Reasons For Retailers to Use In-Store Video

Given that 75% of buying decisions are made once a shopper is in the store, it is understandable how interacting with the customer at the point of sale can dramatically increase sales.

In-store video allows retailers to stimulate brand recall, counteract advertising campaigns by competitors and make the shopper feel good about their brand purchase.

Here are seven reasons why savvy retailers are implementing in-store video displays at the point of sale:

  1. Shoppers actually appreciate in-store video displays. In the Arbitron Retail Media Study (2006), 78% of consumers believed that in-store video displays that feature product or sale information are helpful. In fact, 81% of consumers said that they were interested in seeing in-store video promotions that included sales and specials (81%), product information (72%) and special events (68%).
  2. Unplanned purchases increase by around 30%. Various research studies have uncovered that consumers who stop to watch the digital retail screens have decided to purchase the showcased product on the spot.
  3. Spend increases by an average of 10%. Research by Mintel has found that consumers in retail outlets with in-store video displays spend an average of 10% more money.
  4. Digital signage introduces a ‘wow’ factor that engages, supports branding, helps the customer at the point of sale and most importantly, brings fun into the equation. Of course, don’t expect this to be a long term factor when the rest of the market starts using in-store video displays.
  5. It’s highly flexible. In-store video displays allow products to be advertised in an instant. For example, if it’s raining outside, change the marketing message to a special on umbrellas. Different stores can also run different ads for the same product to evaluate which ad is more successful at lifting sales.
  6. It interacts with the customer. Companies are finding that transferring the 30 second standard television ad onto a retail television network can have lukewarm results. However, ads that are targeted to the retail environment, help the customer make a decision and engage have the power to heighten sales.
  7. It improves brand recall. A study by Nielsen found that the average recall of a brand advertised on Wal-Mart’s in-store television network is a staggeringly high 66% compared to around 15-25% for brands advertised in other media.

The Arbitron Study also found that if given a choice 42% of shoppers would prefer to shop at a store that has video displays.

In-store video has the power to engage with customers, alert them about new products, special offers and provide a relevant and helpful shopping experience. Any retailer who wants to cut through the clutter and create a more meaningful dialogue with their consumers needs to seriously consider in-store television advertising as part of their media spend.



World Cinema – Cinema From Around the Globe

Many of us love to watch foreign language films. What is your favorite film? From which country? You might love to explore good cinema from all over the world, regardless of the native language. Films from the exotic countries of China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Japan, Sweden and Spain are the only kinds you think of when you think movies. Those subtitles that so many find too excruciating to watch, add to the aura of your watching experience – in fact they become such a part of you that you think you’re hearing English (or whatever), and so you don’t even notice them! However it is sad that these great films that are often termed as “art house” or “independent” never receive more than a limited release and many are never played in major cinemas.

Going back some years, the only viewers for foreign films were the same who lined up to see the latest Jean Luc Godard, or Michelangelo Antonioni, or Akira Kurosawa. Foreign films became less appealing to audiences as the practices and themes of the French New Wave and other “foreign” schools were taken up by American directors, and several of the foreign filmmakers who made an impact, ended up in Hollywood. But are we saying there are no works of genius to see today? Surely not!

If works by Antonioni, Bergman, Fellini, Godard, Renoir, and Truffaut – are timeless today, masterworks by present day filmmakers such as Wong Kar Wai, Almodovar, Kiarostami, Ki-Duk-Kim, Majidi, and Del Toro, amongst many others, are just as winning and will be just as timeless tomorrow. Their films are not necessarily suffused with the kind of skepticism that formed the crux of the films that were released in the 60’s – when people dashed in to see iconic films such as La Dolce Vita, Yojimbo and Shoot the Piano Player. World cinema today is a phenomenon that hardly conforms to the definitions set by the predecessors of the genre. Take movies such as Amelie, In the Mood for Love, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y tu Mama Tambien, All About my Mother – all these are artistic and lucid films that are permeated with humane subjects such as life, love, death, identity and solidarity.

Watching these films can be an experience of reflection – you watch these with some thought rather than just taking them in. And of course they’re great entertainment (as much as you might like to believe they’re serious, uninteresting, mind numbing etc etc). Most of all, it is their artistic value that stands as superior, and the diverse cultures they represent make them a lot more interesting than Hollywood offerings. Even commercial foreign films are a lot more interesting owing to the knowledge they impart to us about the culture and background that made them.

While there is a deficiency in media and critical interest in foreign titles, there are few websites that are dedicated to movie reviews to find a foreign film that you may enjoy. Read reviews, pay attention, look at ratings and watch a preview of the movie before you decide to rent it out from a video store (quite a few of them have a shelf or two dedicated to foreign language films), or download it off the internet after having made your own judgment. Take my word on this – like it or not, you will be amazed by the insight these films will give you into the culture and life of another land.



5 Ways to Make Your Girlfriend Like Star Wars and 1 Way to Make Her Hate It

While most of us are happy to sit down and watch Star Wars, respective partners are not so willing. I know that I get quizzed all the time on why I like it so much. My girl friend can’t seem to understand why the Star Wars movies are so good. So I decided to sit down with her and show her why she should like Star Wars as much as me.

1. Harrison Ford. Most chicks still think that he is hot. Yeh sure he’s getting older now days but in the original trilogy he is still a good looking. Plus if you tell her he gets his shirt off in The Empire Strike Back then she will sit there and wait for it. Now we all know that he doesn’t really get his shirt off, just ripped a little, but you are allowed to exaggerate sometimes.

2. Ewoks. Girls all like cute and cuddly things, and there is nothing more cute and cuddly than a Ewok. I know that you may not like the half Wookie want-to-be’s but remember this is not about you. Tell the love of your life that if she likes them then you will get her a Ewok doll. I don’t know if you can, but you can tell her you will try.

3. C3PO. Girls like gay guys. They see them as a man friend with female advice, and who better fits that role than C3PO. Once they know that he is gay they will watch the whole movie laughing at his antics and hoping that he will find another gay robot so that they can live happily ever after.

4. Princess Leia. Chicks love a big tough strong female lead. They also love a soft and feminine character that they can relate to. Leia Organa has the lot. She is tough but soft, brave but scared. Tell your partner that she is a role model and someone you respect. That will win you brownie points every time. It shows a intellectual side. Hey lie if you have to, but remember were trying to sit down and watch our favorite movie here.

5. Cry when Darth Vader dies. When Luke Skywalker takes of his helmet, shed a tear. Show your girlfriend that you have a soft side. Girls dig that. They may not feel the same way, but if it gets you emotional than you will be able to watch it more often.

Now that you have her won over to liking Star Wars you don’t want to stuff it all up by doing something stupid. Unfortunately, as men, we are almost pre-programmed to do stupid things, and what is the biggest mistake we can make when watching Star Wars?

“Gee Leia looks hot in that slave girl outfit!”

And in an instant you have blown it.

Mind you in saying all of this I have tried it all and still have no succeeded in winning her over. Mind you, you are better to try than to just fail outright.

Terry Shadwell

P.S. I do know where you can get a Princess Leia Slave Girl Outfit!



Fun Hollywood Stories Fly Off the Bus!

Here are seven fun stories about Hollywood:

The Universal Maniac

In 1999, an Australian gentleman told me about an interesting experience he and his family had at Universal Studios. They were on the backlot tour passing one of the theme park’s main attractions, the Bates Motel used in the 1960 horror classic Psycho, about a murderous young man named Norman Bates who loved his mother a little too much. As the guide gave out information about how director Alfred Hitchcock shot the picture, a tall man, dressed in drag and carrying a large knife, emerged from behind the old set and charged toward the tram. The narrator seemed to know nothing about the Norman Bates look-alike and clammed up completely. The make-believe killer wore such a convincing maniacal expression that some of the paying customers were frightened and screamed when he raised his weapon. Then the “fiend” pulled off his wig and he turned out to be comic Jim Carrey; the thirty-seven-year-old star was clowning around during a work break. After his laughing “victims” calmed down, Jim was happy to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

The Wildest Guest

Longtime staff at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles had many candidates for the most outrageously behaved celebrity guest. There were the hammy Barrymore brothers who always tried to outdo one another; after the drunken John earned many stares for bringing his pet monkey in the hotel’s famed Moroccan-style club, the Coconut Grove, Lionel arrived there with seven chimps. Chaos erupted when the well-dressed guests chased the animals as they swung through the paper Mache trees. Then there was famed movie theater owner Sid Grauman who told Charlie Chaplin that he found a dead body in his hotel bed. The tramp fled in terror when Sid pulled back the blankets, not realizing he was looking at a wax dummy covered in ketchup. But it was hard to top the antics of actress Tallulah Bankhead who once called for room service, answered the door in the buff and told the bell boy no tip; she had nothing on her.

Marlene’s Wartime Regret

Marlene Dietrich found her true calling entertaining the Allied troops in 1943. The forty-two-year-old actress, who never enjoyed making movies, got a crash course in how to talk to audiences. Nothing could be tougher or more fulfilling than performing in front of young men who might die in battle the next day. The Berlin-born American citizen overcame suspicions that she was actually an Axis spy, and was proud of spurning Hitler’s request to return to Germany. After World War II ended, she enjoyed being a lusty cabaret singer for many years and tried never to take herself too seriously. Marlene, whose long list of romances ranged from John Wayne to General Patton, once mentioned to her husband that she should have married Hitler back in the thirties, and then there would have been no war. She laughed when he agreed and stated that the Fuhrer would have killed himself much sooner.

We Don’t Want a Hit

Executives at United Artists Studio were unimpressed viewing the initial footage of Sean Connery playing James Bond in the 1962 spy thriller Dr. No. The thirty-two-year-old Scottish actor, whose receding hairline was carefully hidden by a toupee, seemed to change his accent in almost every scene. Sure, the former Mr. Universe runner-up was a formidable presence, but did Connery have the sophistication to play the suave super spy 007, a role originally meant for Cary Grant? The studio kept the completed film on the shelf for many months before releasing it in England where it was a smash. Well, it had to be a fluke; Bond was English, after all. Six months later, they released it in the USA where it did great again. Dr. No led to a hugely successful James Bond franchise and made Sean Connery an international star. It failed only in Japan, where movie-theater owners translated Dr. No to read, “We don’t want a doctor!”

The Battle of the Munchkins

The actors who played the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz were hard working and much maligned. In the 1960s, the often-inebriated Judy Garland became a favorite TV talk show guest and would trash her former co-stars from the 1939 classic. She would make up tales about them being drunk, swinging from chandeliers, getting into knife fights, making lewd propositions to her, and being rounded up for their scenes in butterfly nets. In real life, the New York- based Leo Singer Midgets had won the lucrative Oz contracts in a hard- fought battle with another group of little vaudevillians managed by dwarf actor Major Doyle. There was much animosity between the two rival bands of performers. The cigar- chomping Doyle was in his apartment on Fifth Avenue, still fuming over the job losses, when a phone call instructed him to look out the window. Three busloads of tiny entertainers mooned him and then it was on to California.

Walt Disney’s Daughters

Walt Disney’s two daughters, Sharon and Diane, grew up sheltered from the limelight. The children had no images of Mickey Mouse around their home. Their father didn’t go to many parties, preferring to stay in after a long day of work. Sometimes he would playfully chase the youngsters upstairs, cackling like the evil peddler woman in Snow White. When they behaved badly, Walt would admonish them with a raised eyebrow; his stern demeanor inspired the character of the wise old owl, in the 1942 animated feature Bambi. As toddlers, the brainy Diane and beautiful Sharon stayed blissfully unaware that their parents worried about them being kidnapped and allowed no pictures of the sisters to be publicly circulated. Once in 1939, a curious classmate questioned six-year-old Diane about her family. She went home and said, “Daddy, you never told me you were that Walt Disney,” and asked him for an autograph.

Who Won the Race?

Writer/director Billy Wilder liked to mess with producer Samuel Goldwyn’s head. The Austrian-born Wilder, who had fled Europe when Hitler rose to power, respected how the former glove salesman from Poland had good taste in stories, even though Sam hardly ever read anything. One time Wilder pitched the mogul a screen idea about Nijinsky, the famous Russian ballet dancer. Goldwyn was dubious, Wilder persisted; the story had great cinematic possibilities. As a young man, Nijinsky danced for the Bolshoi and received international acclaim. Then he met the great love of his life, was rejected, ended up in an insane asylum and thought he was a horse. Goldwyn stared daggers at him. Sam didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. The public would never pay to see something so negative.

“Don’t worry, Sam, it has a happy ending.”

Goldwyn asked what could possibly be happy about a man who believes he’s a horse.

“He wins the Kentucky Derby!”



A Bose Cinemate Gs Series II Review

Sound is meant for the ears. The mind receives what the ears have detected and makes its own interpretations. Therefore, a balanced Bose cinemate gs series ii focuses on what the ears receive that leaves an impression on the mind.

In the past a lot has come on the market with different designs and abilities. But the Bose cinemate gs series ii has shown that this system has allowed a new version of quality to come on the market with more focus on a refined and improved sound quality. It’s not surprising that this home theater system has already been put to different usages. This admirable powerful sound master can balance the sound output by merely allowing you to select the desired output version of equalizing the sound. In addition, there is no need to start worrying about the arrangement you are going to end up with in order to produce well-balanced sound. However, a Bose cinemate gs series ii, which really is amazingly easy to install and set up. You absolutely do not need to be technically savvy to set this system up. Simply connect a few cords and you are ready to go.

In my Bose cinemate gs series ii review, I will also mention that the most important ability of this sound equipment is in the way you adapt to the music and select your own choices without worrying about the effect on the other factors like accompanying noises and distorted sounds. It is a good habit to check the Bose cinemate gs series ii review to know more about it. When most experts recommend, we always listen with care and courtesy that is why it is important to note that the experts have managed to accept this equipment as an efficient sound icon and a must have for lovers of high quality sound. In addition, it is also vital to point out that this 2010 speaker of the year was designed to handle almost any home arrangement of most consumption levels and preferences. But even as more emphasis is put on the importance of maintaining high quality sound, it is a reminder that the equipment is able to serve with maximum reliably and warranty for the money spent.

Bose has led the industry in sound quality for years and the Bose Cinemate Gs Series ii is yet again another hit. Which really does not surprise me at all, given the history of Bose products.



Social Media: Can Social Media Stop People From Having The Ability To Delay Gratification?

On one hand, there is instant gratification and, on the other hand, there is delayed gratification. When it comes to the former, one way of looking at it would be to say that this is something that comes from the child part of them.

The reason for this is what when one was younger, they would have needed everything straight away. At this age, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to put their needs to one side.

A Time and A Place

At the same time, it could also be said that there is more to it than this, and this is because there are going to be moments when it will be necessary for this part of them to appear as an adult. In this sense, it might be more accurate to say that this drive that is not as important when they are older as it is when they are younger.

When it comes to when this drive is required, it can relate to when they are hungry or need to go to the toilet, for instance. It could then be said that this is something that often relates to their more basic needs.

The Other Option

Yet, when it comes to the latter, it could be said that this something that is a part of their adult self. There is the chance that they would have been brought up by people who exercised this drive whilst they were bringing them up.

During these years, their parent/s would have had to put certain needs to one side in order to fulfil their needs. If this took place, they might have thought about how it would affect their child if they ignored their needs and did what they wanted to do instead.

Damage

Yet, if they did do this and focused on their own needs, it could have set one up to be abandoned. Thus, out of their inability to see the bigger picture, they would have caused a lot of harm.

At this time, doing what they wanted might have felt good, but if they were able to step back, they would have realised that this would have a big effect on their own flesh and blood. It could be said that this emphasises how important it is to have a well-functioning brain.

Different Needs

When it comes to having this ability as an adult, it can allow them to achieve things that are significant. Ultimately, if one wants to have a fulfilling career, for instance, it is unlikely to happen overnight.

To get to this point, there is a strong chance that they will have to do things that won’t be very pleasurable, and this could happen for a number of years. And even if they were to get to this point, it doesn’t mean that it will be plain sailing.

Relationships

Along with the effect this will have on their career, it will also have a positive effect on their connections with others. For example, if one wanted to be with someone, they are going to need to handle the moments when it doesn’t go how they want it to.

But through going through these moments, it can bring them closer to the other person, and it will be able to fulfil a lot of their needs. Having casual encounters can allow one to experience more pleasure, but they are unlikely to do much else.

Exercise

In addition to this, if one wants to lose weight or gain muscle, it is not going to be something that happens straight away. And even if they do see a difference without too much time passing, it can take while for them to go to the next stage.

In the short-term, they are going to have to experience pain, and they will need to overlook other things that would be more pleasurable. Even so, it will be far more rewarding for them in the long-term.

A Bigger Impact

And, when one does achieve something like this, it will be far more meaningful than if they were to simply have something straight away. They will be only too aware of all the effort they have put in, and this will allow them to appreciate it more.

If one has what they want, when they want it, it is unlikely to mean anything to them. In the same way that human beings typically don’t think about how wonderful air is, as it is always there.

Nowadays

But while it is clear that having the ability to delay gratification is vital, it is something that is being undermined in today’s world. One way this takes place is that people have the ability to order something and have it delivered soon after.

Another way this occurs is through what takes place when one uses social media, and this is somewhere where one can have a number of their basic needs taken care of almost instantly. If, for example, one wants to receive attention, approval or to talk to someone, this can happen through using their device.

Regression

And through being able to get these needs met so easily, they can come to expect every other need to be met in the same way. When it comes to someone who has been brought up with social media, they could find that they have a greater need to experience life in this way that someone who hasn’t.

Having said that, this can all depend on how much time they spend online. As a result of this, one can be like a child that needs to have everything provided for them straight away, and they won’t be able to tolerate frustration.

Conclusion

There are going to be times when one can have their needs met instantly and times when they can’t. If one is unable to delay gratification, it can stop them from being able to live a fulfilling existence.

If one can relate to this and they want to change their life, it is going to be a good idea for them to develop the ability to delay gratification. There is plenty of information online on how this can be done.



Making Assumptions

As I woke up this morning, I was reflecting on a phenomenon I’ve been noticing, which is that I receive far more comments on my articles that are not tools-oriented but more information and thoughts to ponder, than I do on my offerings that have specific steps attached, designed to help you achieve your goals.

I lay there, reflecting on this pattern and noticed that I began to feel a little unsettled, “the niggle” was up! As I asked myself what needs I had that weren’t being met that were triggering that niggle, the answer became clear: I want my readers to be successful in their healing. I don’t want them to stay stuck in the use of food to cope when they don’t have to. I want my writing to inspire them and motivate them to try doing something differently. Okay, so my needs were for purpose and significance and connection for me and ease, freedom and peace for you.

1. I was making assumptions about you! I was lying there in my ultra-comfy bed telling myself stories about you and those stories were causing me distress. I was telling myself that the lack of comments on tools-related articles was because I wasn’t a motivating writer and/or because I had failed to teach the tool in a way that was easy to understand and use. In other words, I was making big assumptions, telling myself harmful stories, and those stories were making me feel that niggly, anxious feeling because I was telling myself, based on those assumptions, that I had needs that weren’t being met. And I wasn’t telling myself that “maybe” I needed to change my teaching style I had bought into that story as “the truth.” That’s why I felt the niggle.

That sense of dis-tress or dis-ease never arises when we’re still open to any possibility, it only arises when, consciously or unconsciously we’ve attached to one story as “the truth.” And usually, it’s not the truth, or certainly not all of the truth. As soon as I realized what I had been doing, I laughed and asked myself if I wanted to continue to make those assumptions, or did I want to check them out, or did I want to just let them go. I let them go, and decided to check them out also, but from a place of genuine inquiry and openness and not from a place of wanting to confirm or refute my assumption. Anything could be true, myriad explanations exist. Why would I want to harm myself by fixating on one story when there were so many possible ones?

2. The other thing I was reminded of when I recognized my niggle, my needs and the assumptions that triggered them both was that I have no right to have needs for you, or of you. As Byron Katie, a teacher whose work I greatly appreciate would say: It’s either your business, their business, or God’s business, and you have no business being in anyone else’s business! (okay, she’s more eloquent than that, but you get the drift?) I was in your business, telling myself stories about what you should be doing, how you should be using the tools (assuming that you weren’t), what I should be hearing and how often, etc. All of this was happening semi-consciously in a split second, and the only indicator I had that any of this was going on was my little niggle.

That’s my cue, and yours too, that one of 2 things is happening:

1. You really do have needs in the present that are not being met (i.e. you are hungry, you have to go to the bathroom, you’ve misplaced your keys and you’re late)

or

2. You’re hooked into a harmful story that has you fixated on a worst-case-scenario outcome and, rather than telling yourself it’s one of myriad possibilities, you’re telling yourself it’s going to happen and you need to steel yourself and prepare, hence, up comes the niggle that represents all the needs you’re telling yourself won’t be met when that worst-case-scenario thing happens. Once I realized that I was getting hooked into stories about how you, my readers, “should” be using the tools, and that you weren’t, I could laugh at myself and let it go. I really do trust you to know what you need, when you need it and to make use of my offerings in the way that feels like the best fit at the right time for you. I just needed to remind myself of that!

For you, if you’re still using food to cope, this process of stories being pitched to you by your Drill Sgt. and then being logged as truth is probably happening 24/7. Those stories trigger you to feel anxious/niggly because that anxiety is an appropriately occurring in response to the needs you’re telling yourself aren’t being, or won’t be met because of that story. The anxiety/niggly feeling triggers you to feel overwhelmed because you don’t know where it’s coming from and the overall story you slip into is “something bad is going to happen, it’s going to be my fault, and there’s nothing I can do about it, time to check-out!” And out come the food and body focus, the alcohol, the procrastination, the isolation….whatever your drug of choice.

The solution really is simple. As you can see in my sharing above, we can’t stop our minds from ever telling us stories but we can quite easily get to a place where those stories hardly ever arise, and when they do, we notice them right away, assess their validity and move on from a place of peace and self-awareness. Once you realize the connection between thoughts and your use of food to cope, and start using some tools to attend to your thoughts more effectively, you will cease to use food to cope, guaranteed!



Build Your Social Capital – 28 Tips

I am seeing a growing trend in interactive media that is bothering me. Unfortunately, user engagement from social media is on the decline. I know many industry folks will challenge me here as the registration numbers to social media services are in hockey stick growth mode (as of this post.) However, the percentage of registered users engaging in the services as measured by clicks, time spent, comments, etc. is on the decline. I understand the argument that this is a natural trend as the early adopter “geeks” have a high penetration of engagement and newer social media adopters are more lurkers and generally have less involvement.

I don’t totally buy that argument. I believe there are several reasons for this user engagement downward trend and one of which is a lack of individual social capital.

Ask yourself a simple question… when you look at your Facebook News Feed or Twitter postings – how many posting do you ignore vs. read/respond/forward?

More now than in the past? Is it one in five, one in ten, or one in twenty?

Wikipedia provides more of an academic definition of social capital. In my layman terms – it is the authority others give individuals based upon their knowledge/experience/interactions with the individual. If your social capital is high then your blog post/comments/articles are likely read and esteemed by many. If you are an unknown to some – your social capital is in heavy evaluation mode by that some. If your social capital is rated low by certain individuals – you are likely ignored by those individuals.

I think the success of your social media experience is heavily dictated by your social capital. It is my belief that significant improvements in individual social capital will improve overall social media engagement metrics. For me, this is an industry-wide issue.

Given my experiences, I’ve compiled a streaming consciousness list of 28 Things to Boost Your Social Capital:

1. Have a Unique Voice – Don’t be afraid to stand out and speak your mind. Be willing to challenge conventional thinking – just use your experiences and become the voice.

2. Be Respectful – Always remember to respect and appreciate different opinions and points of view. It’s a good thing and it challenges smart thinking. As an old boss of mine once told me, “Say what you mean – mean what you say – and don’t say it mean.”

3. Generate New Ideas – I will often say that in technology “nothing is really new, rather a novel approach to the same thing.” It’s the same in media. Novel approaches are great and allow innovation. If you are good at generating novel approaches to business problems – people will listen.

4. Talk About What You Have Experience in – Self explanatory. If you are reading this post it is highly likely you have a decent amount of experience in something. Figure it out and stick to what you know. Authenticity is critical for success in social media.

5. Create a Trusted Relationship – Social Media has done a great job enabling the development and nurturing of faceless relationships. Do the right thing to develop these relationships as there is much responsibility there. This includes distributing accurate information, enabling conversation, responsiveness, etc.

6. Be Positive – There is enough negative going on in the world and your social interactions should avoid the negatives associated with that. This doesn’t mean you should only talk about good things, rather keep the tone positive even when talking about challenges. I am a believer that giving off positive Mojo brings back positive Mojo.

7. Listen – Remember you are a focus group of one (unless of course you are referencing research data.) This is not lip service – make sure you read postings and absorb what others have to say. Everyone is busy and if someone takes the time to post – make sure you hear what they are trying to say. Social is all about different POV coming together in a conversation.

8. Be Socially Sustainable – Make the commitment to social communications right away. Too many folks get-in, get-out, and then back-in, etc. Social media is not going away anytime soon so get used to it and figure a way to sustainably incorporate that into the balance of your life.

9. It’s a Process – Building your Social Capital takes time and lots of resilient effort. Don’t give up. Do what any life coach will tell you… create a plan, set attainable goals, and make it like brushing your teeth – something you incorporate into your life. Trust me – over time you will see the benefits.

10. Be Naked – Be willing to reveal yourself to your audience, even if that means sharing your idiosyncrasies or mistakes with millions of people. Jeff Bezos did.

11. Be Honest – It will feel good.

12. Resist Unimportant Chatter – This is a big one. Many folks post too much unimportant information (Ex. my dog took a pee,) private jokes, or every turn of their life. Resist the urge to share topics or issues that are likely not to have meaning to most of your audience. The reality is that most folks don’t care about your dog going to the bathroom and if you continue to post useless information you will be ignored when you want to be heard when posting something important.

13. Be First – Being first to report industry news, an upcoming product launch, competitive information, etc. is great way to build social capital. Simple rational – if you are on top of what’s going on in an industry, others will rely on you for more of this insight in the future. A more sophisticated and sustainable approach is to provide strategic commentary on the news. If your users like your strategic commentary they will always come back for more, regardless if you are first to report it. A simple strategy here is to setup Google Alerts with industry keywords. You then find out the skinny when it happens.

14. Learn SEO Right Away – It is critical you understand the basics, have a keyword strategy, and know how to quantitatively monitor performance. Your acquisition investment in traffic from social media needs to translate into a retention strategy and growth via search engines (Google, etc.)

15. Learn the Credibility Pyramid – My favorite commentary on the topic comes from Darren Rowse at Problogger.net where the pyramid is explained in more detail. For me, the most interesting part of the pyramid is the 50% at the top attributed to your care and concern for your audience.

16. Update Your Social Profiles – Make sure your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, etc. are current and express what you want your audience to know about you. They will go there first to get an understanding of who you are.

17. Start a Blog – Among other things, starting a blog is a good way to communicate your thoughts and build an advertising-free audience via social media and SEO.

18. Don’t Let Social Media Take Over Your Life – Another big and difficult one for many. Resist the temptation to let social media take you over 24/7. Enjoy screen-free time with family and friends. It will make you a better person and, at minimum, it will provide you with more interesting things to write about. Audiences love anecdotal stories about life experiences.

19. Incorporate Offline – Even with the great Social Media tools that exist today – online relationships are limited and can feel one or two dimensional. It’s OK to start with an online relationship, yet once you’ve developed a Social Media relationship with a respected peer – meet face-to-face. Meet-ups are becoming popular and typically enhance your Social Media capital. Disclaimer: Of course, be safe and careful as there are many weirdos out there.

20. Don’t Be Too Personal – This is self-explanatory. People don’t care about your athletes foot fungus unless it is in the context of an academic health conversation. It is too much information and you will be considered a bit weird, thus lowering your Social Capital.

21. Do Posts Yourself – I know this is a controversial topic as many executives have shadow writers that write blogs/Tweets/etc. under the executives name. The argument is that the executive is too busy to write themselves. If you are not writing under your name, as yourself – my position is that it is not authentic. If you tell your audience that others are writing for you – that is OK. Although, having others write under your name can reduce your Social Capital. By nature folks are not trusting and they smell inauthentic behavior from a mile away. They will call you out and then the hammer drops – it’s a bad situation… I’ve seen it. More importantly for executives, personally writing and engaging in Social Media conversations provide the opportunity to speak directly with customers, prospects, peers, and friends. A very different experience than the Ivory Tower.

22. Include Links – When posting (via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) it is important to include links to the resulting articles, blog posts, video, etc. as users are materially more engaged when links are available. Additionally, if the links are set up correctly they are quantitatively traceable providing key metrics for you.

23. Provide FREE Value – I know this is a hard one for many professionals/consultants that expect to get paid for their grey matter. Get over it. It’s the old cliche – if you give – you will get.

24. Follow Through – If you become an active participant in Social Media you may find that folks are seeking your help and advice aside from quick comments or answers to questions. Take the time and go out of your way to answer them promptly – be helpful. The majority of folks are respectful of people’s time and effort. You will make some friends, boost your Social Capital, and the payoff will come over time.

25. Be a Good Social Media Citizen – Get out there and comment, write, post, re-tweet, and share your views with other Social Media evangelists. Don’t just spend time on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account. Just like you want folks to come to you – they want the same.

26. Remember This is Networking – Be professional. Act as if you are in a face-to-face networking experience.

27. Seek Industry Leaders – Do your homework and find your niche and the associated voices there. You need to understand the conversation and challenges. Read, write, and engage other voices in your niche – it helps to build Social Capital. If you prove yourself they will quote you and want your feedback on issues.

28. Practice a Good Value System in Controversy – It’s the obvious. Expect controversy to happen – it’s just a matter of time. Deal with it with respect and good values. Lots of folks are listening to your every move so don’t let the heat of the moment change who you are. If being right compromises the integrity of others – resist explicit comments or postings and handle the situation privately. The old cliche, “treat others as you want them to treat you.”

What Social Capital tips can you share?



Cable TV 101: The Power of TV Commercials

As we watch various TV shows at home, there is something that you may notice after taking a break. This is what we call commercial breaks. It is some kind of advertisement that are placed in a TV network during break time. Advertisers are paying the TV company on a pay-per-view basis until the credits expired. It means that for every advertisement viewed by the cable TV customers and subscribers, credits will start to charge. Why is it that lots of advertisers are willing to promote their product, service or company through TV commercials?

First of all, cable and satellite TV providers are having a huge market. The reason that cable or satellite TV is a huge market because of the great demand. In other words, everybody loves to watch TV all the time. This is where the advertisers came in, and they’re willing to spend their money for advertising credits. But how would they benefit from their advertising credits through TV commercials? For example, if you advertise a shampoo product through a pay-per-view basis, you might target a lot of women who are watching cable TV.

The channels that you are targeting for the product must be related to beauty, fashion, lifestyle and other variety channels. As cable TV providers and the advertisers agreed to a deal with this campaign, the commercial mode starts to roll. As you are targeting the right niche or audience, it gives them a lot of interest to check out the product advertised on TV. If there is a possibility that your product or service made sales through your TV commercial campaign, it is a sign of success for your business. This is where businesses are very successful through their campaigns.

However, if you choose the wrong target or demographics, you will get no or less sales from your products or services. It is important for your campaign to be targeted by means of pay-per-view, and it reflects the performance of your product or service itself. There is no guarantee that you may have a successful campaign with any cable TV provider, because there are lots of advertisers out there. In other words, there are some competitors in your niche or area that are running their campaigns through TV commercials as well.

Overall, it is worth for your business to test anything for the best. If you don’t test it out, you will not succeed. It needs you to take action to make your business profitable, especially in terms of promoting products and services. There are lots of ways for you to advertise the product and service, and it has no limits for you. As long you have a big budget to run a campaign for your product or service in a cable TV company, you’re good to go. This is the real power of TV commercials in running their campaigns through a pay-per-view basis. It may give you a real risk, but it’s normal for all businesses.



Television Watching – A Thief Of Family Time?

Television Watching is popular throughout the whole world. At the early stage of television in 1931, the chairman of the Radio Corporation of American said “the potential audience of television in its ultimate development may reasonably be expected to be limited only by the population of the earth itself”. The numbers of television worldwide is estimated to stand at 1.5 billion, with many more viewers, love it or hate it; television plays a major i.e. in people’s life.

Television Watching can be a powerful teaching tool. By means of it, we learn about lands and people we may never visit, “we travel” to tropical jungles and polar ice caps, to mountain peaks and ocean depths. We pee into the intriguing worlds of both atom and stars. We watch news as to happen in the other side of the world. We gain insights into politics, history, current events and culture. Television Watching captures the lives of people in both tragedy and triumph.

The time that many people devote to Television Watching is astonishing. Recently, global study showed that, on average; Television Watching per person is about three hours each day. North Americans watch four and a half hours daily. While the Japanese top the list at five hours per day. These hours add up. If we watch four hours daily, by age 60, we will have spent ten years in front of the screen. Yet, none of us would want inscribed on our tombstone “Here lies our beloved friend, who devoted one sixth of his/her life on Television Watching.”

How are Television Viewers affected by a steady diet of Television violence and sex? Critics charge that Television violence causes people to act aggressively and to be less sympathetic towards victims of real-life violence. They also assert that the portrayal of sex promotes promiscuity and undermines rival standards.

Similarly, it has been difficult to prove that violence seen through Television Watching causes crime and antisocial behavior. Many studies do suggest that there is such a link. It is hardly surprising, then that there are opposing points of view. A Canadian psychologist wrote. “The scientific evidence simply does not show that watching violence either produces violence in people or desensitizes them to it.” “However, the American psychological Association Committee on Media and Society said. “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of Television Watching of violence are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior.”

Increasing number of Television viewers are becoming addicts. Though Television Watching offer much that is worthwhile, heavy Television Watching can cut into family time, hinder reading and academic performance in children and contribute to obesity. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Based on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude the viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children.”

The National Institute on Media and the Family puts it this way. “We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that there should be ‘NO TELEVISION WATCHING for children ages two and under.’ These children, who are undergoing tremendous brain development, need active play and real people interactions to promote their developmental, physical and social skills”