Posted in Business, SocialMedia, Technology, Writing

I Have a Book In Me

Thanks for reading!  There’s a question at the end for writers and authors…I value your input.

I just have to share a brief story about a friend/colleague.  He calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time during a break at work.  So I say “Sure!”  Turns out Zach is an animal society non-profit volunteer and board member, and he wanted some advice on “improving” their website .   Zach stated that they already have a dedicated domain name and a website that’s currently out of date.

So, immediately the wheels start turning, my adrenaline gets pumping and dots are being connected at wicked speeds….I can just feel the synapses firing in my brain!

So my friend (lets call him Zach) says that their non-profit website is sort of “just there!”  The guy that volunteered to design and maintain their website moved to the East Coast but continued to maintain the site…until recently when his computer died.  Now they’ve turned to Zach for help.  He was looking for suggestions that would be cheap or free.  So I started off with some basic questions.

I asked what is the Purpose, Audience, and Goals of the website to the non-profit organization.  So I wrote those words down on the back of my printed out schedule for the day like this:

Purpose (of the site):  Membership, Volunteers, Fundraising

Target Audience (of the site):  Society Members, Volunteers, Contributors

Goals (of the site):  Raise Funds, Increase Membership, Increase # of volunteers

I mentioned that there was a huge difference between purpose & goals.  Purpose is why it exists, why you bother devoting any time to it in the first place.  Goals are achievable targets (increase fund raising by 5% per month, increase membership by 10% each month, gain 5 new volunteers each month.)

I asked him how the non-profit uses tech to engage their audience…apparently there is only one person who posts things on Facebook.  (I just did a search on FB and found nothing but external links)

I said, “Zach, if you’re not using free services like Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn to engage your audience, you’re missing out!  If you would begin using those services, within six months, I guarantee you’ll achieve all of your goals and increase the number of volunteers (under age 30) of your non-profit society!”

I told Zach that they asked for “help with a website” but what he needed to present to the board, was a business plan.  A domain name and non-interactive website are the same as a vacant lot or empty building!  It’s just a place–nobody’s going to come or even come back if there’s nobody to talk to.  I suggested that he deliver a proposal for a strategy to really give their society a long-overdue boost!  I suggested he take the page of notes and turn it into a quick 5-slide PowerPoint presentation to present at the next board meeting!

We agreed to get together later when we could devote more time to discuss the plan and he asked me for a copy of the notes I took so he could begin looking into the social media aspects.

My mind was on fire about this idea…I thought wow, that session was more than a brief visit/discussion, it was a consultation!  This sort of thing happens to me a lot, and I really enjoy it.  That is where a lot of my passion lies.  On my lunch hour I had to put the adrenaline to use.  I logged onto my Evernote account and quickly outlined my page of notes.  When I finished, I realized what was staring me in the face could be the table of contents for a practical book that would help literally hundreds of people.

So here’s my question!  Leaning on great advice from a dear #usguys friend @loiscreamer , I won’t ask “Does the world need another social media enthused business basics book for entrepreneurs?”  but instead…should I go the self- ePublishing route or traditional query letter path? I know I could churn it out in a couple of months, go through several drafts and edits, and be ready for publishing by year’s end.  What do you think?

Easter Day Update:  So, I decided to go for it and have taken the advice of several encouraging people to begin my book.  You can read more about it at the blog created specifically for writing my book here:

Posted in Education, Politics

Cavalier Arrogance ~ GOP

English: Andrew Jackson.
Image via Wikipedia

There’s only one sentence appropriate to introduce this posting:  I’m angry, sad, and embarrassed!

Someone must have forgotten that television is a world-wide accessible medium for communications.  Last night was an embarrassment to our nation, a ridicule of the Office of the President, and extremely juvenile display of testosterone!  It is a shameful thing to proclaim oneself as the “appropriate choice” to lead this nation, founded on virtues, morals, and liberty when one can allow these words to fall out of one’s mouth:   “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about what to do to America’s enemies…kill them!”  Just search for “Gingrich + Andrew Jackson” and pull up the 23 second YouTube video clip.  One must be very careful when spouting historical “facts” to support one’s position, pulling them out of one’s mental arsenal like a business card to “represent” your position and stance on a given topic.  Someone might actually take you seriously.

If Speaker Gingrich was to recall the history of Andrew Jackson, perhaps he wouldn’t be so ready to whip out that factoid and thrust it upon a frustrated and undecided South Carolina audience.  Andrew Jackson, in his seventh annual message to Congress, after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, decided the desires and needs of the settlers was more important than those of the native American Indian.  Even after the ruling of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall who reviewed the case (Worcester v. Georgia) finding the Indians in full right to their own land, their own nation and declaring that Georgia settlers had to get the permission of the Cherokee Indians to be on their land; Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the law.  Another situation where the President put himself above the law and due process.

The result of Andrew Jackson’s pathetic leadership was the death of thousands of Indians across five tribes.  Does the “Trail of Tears” phrase sound familiar to you?  It should, its not a poem, or a play, this was the fate of the real Native American Indians, forced to leave their lands, their homes, their crops, their hunting grounds…some in the dead of winter; pushed out in such a hurry they were barefoot and many unable to collect any possessions.  This arbitrary usurpation of native’s sovereignty and arrogance demonstrated by Andrew Jackson shows a complete lack of understanding and concern about the impact of American settler’s greed on the indigenous people’s welfare.

“The Creek Indians refused to go.  So United States soldiers came to their homes, chained them together, and marched them toward the west.  Hungry, cold, and weighted down with chains, thirty-five hundred Creek Indians died before reaching the new Indian territory.” (The History of the World, 2004, Peace Hill Press The Seminoles had factions between tribes, the White Stick and Red Stick Seminoles.  The Indian Removal Act was forcing Indians further and further West; to the point that America’s actions were forcing enemies to be geographically close to one another.  The pages of history books are filled with the injustices, inequalities, greed and arrogance toward the Indians…you can read for yourself.

Personally, I would not be proud to compare myself to Andrew Jackson, even if he were a “great President!”  The irony of Gingrich putting himself on the same level by espousing his Brutus approach to administration boggles the mind.  How can one with such a cavalier tongue be considered worthy of the highest elected office  in the nation?  “There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.” Robert Louis Stevenson (from his book “Kidnapped“)

When we debate and wrestle with the issues of our nation:  the economy, foreign policy, health care for an increasingly aging population, jobs, etc; we have a responsibility and an opportunity to set an example not only for our youth, but the entire world.  We should not argue the sanctity of life professing to be a pro-life advocate out of one side of our mouths, but out of the other declare predatory policy towards our enemies.  Is it right for a Republican Christian spout those words and selectively forget Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  Has our secular sacred split become so ruptured that there is no more charity in the heart of our nation?

My children watched the South Carolina Debates on FoxNews with me.  They expressed equal disdain for such an attitude.  I was not proud to be in the presence of my children, observing the behavior of adults being so careless in their sublime chest-thumping bravado!  My son sat and drew a comic representation of the candidates I thought was too humorous not to share.

GOP Candidates

May the best man win!