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A good Social Media Policy stands the test of time

The importance of a written Corporate Social Media Policy for businesses has been upgraded to utmost importance on the priority chart. The days of “block all social sites and it’ll go away” management of Social Media are a thing of the draconian past.
The following 3 guidelines for creating your social policy for your business will prevent mishaps down the line.

1.) You must include key decision makers in planning and delivery phases

A written plan without the Legal Department (for example) could land you in hot water in specific scenarios. What does Human Resources have to input on this topic? Should your IT Department have a recommendation on network resources regarding your Social policy? The answer is Yes and the plan of action is to include key members in the decision making process.

Part of delivering the plan is also communicating its impact on each department and interest group within the organization.

2.) You must decide how Social you want your company to be.

What level of interaction do you want your company to have with the public? There are different strategies ranging from low-hanging fruit such as having a Like button on your website, to maintaining a CEO blog that discusses company ethics and ideals. More advanced strategies include a full-scale social strategy that includes all employees such as Zappos.

The example of Comcast extends customer service into the social realm by establishing a @comcastcares Twitter handle that browses real-time search results and attempts to fix problems in real-time by connecting the Tweeter to the service desk in their area. Comcast’s example is a great case study in attempting to change public perception by addressing negative comments on-the-spot with a solution-oriented approach.

3.) You must incorporate Social policies within your employee training
Implementing a social strategy will alter company culture and usher in a new way of doing thing. Delivering guidelines and examples will ensure that your the corporate culture remains the same while delivering a new means of communication for employees.

What Works for Me

When conducting training for organizations on collaboration and social features, the primary frame of reference that I receive the most response from are:

Keeping training sessions within the context of applications that the group is already familiar with, is a big step towards understand and subsequent adoption.

What experiences are you willing to share with regard to your company’s decision to go social? Let’s discuss via the comments section.

Written by: Shadeed Eleazer

Photo Credit: by darkchild69

Mike Tyson has blown millions more dollars and hurt thousands more people than you can dream of. It isn't that bad.

Iron Mike Tyson has lived a hard life while at the same time being one of the most charismatic figures of the 20th century. He rose from a robbery artist in Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York to be crowned the youngest world heavyweight champion in boxing’s illustrious history. At the age of 20, he earned more money than the average 5-10 people see in a lifetime.

In his prime as a boxer, he was a force to be reckoned with. The combination of power, unpredictability, and FEAR that he instilled into the warriors that faced him, catapulted him up the ranks and transformed him into a Pay-Per-View cash cow well before the internet became a fixture in pro boxing’s promotion and subsequent hype.

His fame became a prison that lead to imprisonment, divorce, financial ruin and professional disgrace to the sport that saved his life. He’s been labeled crazy, manic, outspoken but with many people counting him out, Iron Mike has found some peace and positivity in the madness.

At the age of 47, Tyson is at peace with his life, his past, and looking forward to his future. He was recently inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. He has found an audience of new fans in his recurring role in the Hangover franchise as a comedic figure, while ironically playing the role of himself. Despite losing his daughter in a freak accident involving treadmill equipment, he has settled into a family role and is married.
The irony is that while he has been the model of personal decay on display that many people have turned their nose up at, many of us who have peered thru the looking glass into his very-public life, still haven’t found the peace that he enjoys today.

Using quotes from Mike Tyson himself, let’s examine how we are letting our brands erode into Irrevelantville, by knocking ourselves out for the count.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

Adversity can hit with the force of a left hook, especially when unprepared.
Does a lackluster performance cause you to tuck in your tail and run the other way?
How do you react to unplanned emergencies? Did a negative scandal knock you completely off your gameplan? Can you take and accept a loss?

“You’re smart too late and old too soon.”

The time is take advantage of opportunities within your target market is now. We live in a world where competitive advantage comes and goes. Staying true to your brand message, ideals, and customer base will keep you in tune with the changes that will occur.
Are you waiting on the right situation or circumstances? Are you waiting for your competition to “take a break”? Did you try hard one time and quit? Do you blame lack the funds?

“People say ‘Poor guy.’ That insults me. I despise sympathy. So I screwed up. I made some mistakes. ‘Poor guy,’ like I’m some victim. There’s nothing poor about me.”

You’ve messed up. Bigtime. Even the worst screw ups can be mended with time. The lasting image that you’ve delivered to your core base is what people will remember -if- you acknowledge your mistake(s) and get started on the course of righting the wrongs.
We see stories of redemption all around us. Currently, golf’s former reigning king, Tiger Woods is exercising some huge personal demons as he attempts to get back on track and regain the mystique as the world’s #1 golfer that he enjoyed. Never underestimate the time you’ve invested in building your brand

Iron Mike Tyson has been on top of the world only to re-live those moments of glory staring those the iron bars of a prison cell. He’s wasted hundreds of millions of dollars and has a lifetime of embarrassing moments with soundbytes to match. He’s been knocked down and out, beaten into retirement, only to find himself at the end of the road with his name alongside the all-time greats in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
It’s not as important if we fall down during the race, its if we’re willing to pick ourselves and our brands back up and finish the race that we receive our greatest prize, the honor of knowing we fought to compete and did not give up. You owe it to yourself and your base of supporters to keep on fighting.

Written by Shadeed Eleazer

What will Office 365 impact be for businesses moving towards the cloud?

Office 365 launches today at 10am EST in New York City, with Microsoft Chief Exec Officer Mr. Steve Ballmer leading the charge highlighting Office 365 capabilities and the present and future of the cloud based offering.

Office 365 merges the online versions of MSFT Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint accompanied with Microsoft Office allowing businesses and teams of all sizes to remain agile, lean, yet maintaining the core business capabilities to get the job done.

View the webcast here:

In response to the many questions received on the comparisons between Google Apps and Office 365, Shan Sinha, Google Apps Product Manager, released a post entitled: 365 reasons to consider Google Apps

Shan writes:
“Office 365 is built for Microsoft. Apps is built for choice.

Office 365 is optimized for Windows-based PCs and devices, which reduces your flexibility. Our applications are designed to work well on any device, on any operating system. Desktop, laptop, Chromebook, tablet, smartphone. Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Mobile. Edit on the go. Share from anywhere. Start on your computer, move to your tablet, finish on your phone. When the web is the platform, it just works.

“The initial reason we looked at Google Apps was cost savings, but the on-going value of access to information from anywhere totally independent of the device is where we’re seeing the real gain,” said Scot Adams, the CIO of Cadillac Fairview. ”

The launch of Office 365 has increased the discussion and debate regarding cloud services, apps, and productivity. Stay tuned for more resources on Office 365 on the way soon. What are your thoughts on Office 365?

Office 365 Twitter
Office 365 Blog

Written by: Shadeed Eleazer

Crossing the Finish Line of the Marathon is the Start of a Much Greater Journey of Self Awareness, Courage, and Vitality

Earlier this month, I completed a goal that was on my bucket list. Something to do before I checked out of this life here on Planet Earth. The goal itself required a commitment to many ideals that were foreign to me, or concepts that I was once very good at, and time combined with a slothful lifestyle had eroded my once great habits:

Maintaining healthy eating
Getting a good night’s rest
Reducing my time logged at Happy Hour
Sticking to a training schedule 5 days per week

I sacrified Saturday mornings where I rose at the crack of dawn and Saturday afternoons where all I could do is lay in bed after the pain of running 10-20 miles and dodged Happy Hours for 3-4 months all in the quest to cross that finish line as a Marathon finisher.

During this journey, I’ve had some moments where intense pain combined with digging deep to find the energy to continue on also delivered some universal truths. Here’s 3 of them:

To be the Coolest Under the Spotlight Requires You Sweat the Most When No One is Watching
95% of the training for my 1st marathon was on an old dusty trail that starts in Maryland and winds its way up to Pennsylvania. The site itself was an old railroad track lined with trees as far as the eye can see on both sides. There is no cell phone reception for at least 1 mile heading towards the trail, so distractions are a minimum. The one characteristic of the trail is that the silence is deafening. For many of us, who are surrounded with noise all day long, running on this trail requires an adjustment. It was away from civilization, frappuchinos, internet, and fast food, that I began to develop an appreciation for the work and the process of gearing my body to complete this challenge. Its important to note that the training leading up to the race is just to be in shape to run the race. There is no guarantee that a runner will complete the race. There are several factors such as dehydration, injury, the heat, mental aspects that will make a runner quit during the race. It was during these moments away from it all that I developed a white hot intensity for completing this race and the vision of crossing that finish line became an obsession. The training and the feeling of accomplishment from running farther than I’ve ever run during our weekly long distance runs is what sticks out to me when recalling this experience.

What effort have you sacrificed “everything” for in order to achieve?

Pain turns to pleasure if you survive it. It hurts forever if you quit.

Running a Marathon hurts. No, it really hurts. Other than surgery, I can’t think of any activity or illness that I’ve faced that amounted to the collective, slow burning agony of the Marathon. During the race, I found immense humor in the fact that all the participants signed up for this race and we were all in this madness together. I kept telling myself “This will be over soon” as I continued to take one step further down the winding roads of San Diego. There were several people who quit that day, defeated by the intense condition or let down by their lack of conditioning and reached the peak fo their physical ability and mental capacity. Those individuals regret the fact that they came so far only to come up short. Today, the Coaches and runners from my Team in Training group laugh about the nerves, the pain, and agony of the race but it was only because we faced it head-on and kept going.

What experience made you stronger by just hanging on to finish despite wanting to stop along the way?

Just when you complain about your lack of sunglasses, a blind man runs by you.

It was at mile 17 under the very hot San Diego sun that the decision to not buy sunglasses for the race had come back to haunt me. Immediately, thoughts of not being able to complete the race due to the blinding sun that just decided to make its appearance. It was at this point that out of my peripheral a man staggered on past me on his personal journey to complete the 26 mile gauntlet. I noticed that he had on glasses, which immediately made me envious. Further observation noticed that he also had a long white cane to feel out the course as he ran. It was at that exact moment that I forgot about the pain of squinting in the sun and made the decision that I would complete the Marathon no matter what condition or circumstances I found myself in.

Have you been inspired by someone to keep going towards your goals when you wanted to quit?

There’s a lifetime of lessons that I learned in the marathon preparation, running, and finishing.
The answer is YES, I will run another one :-)

In my recent Encounter with a Deer, let's just say the Deer won this round.

A split second collision with a deer this week left me with over $3,000 in damages, including needing to get an entire door repaired, both front and back bumpers removed, and my driver’s side mirror completely replaced as it was knocked clean off during the collision.

I made the decision *not* to broadcast this personal tragedy on my Twitter and Facebook pages for a few reasons, most important reason being that it happened extremely late in the evening and I had not told my Mother the news yet. The thought of my Mom finding out her son being in an accident from a Facebook friend didn’t sit well with me.

Facebook Breakups for the World to See. Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This startling revelation got my mind working around the thought that we now live in a generation under the microsope, be it webcam, camera phone, Big Brother in the sky with round-the-clock surveilliance.
This is the time of the reality show, where sharing every intimate and embarrassing moment of your life is expected or at least accepted.
Babies are being born on Ustream, Facebook statuses tell the world who we are with and whether or not “its complicated”.

Behind every sextape and online scandal is a trail of misplaced trust and broken promises

What do you consider off-limits? Is anything sacred or private anymore?

Is there a line that you draw between your most personal moments and the info you share with your social networks?

Are there things that we’ll never know about you or is everything fair game?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic so share your experiences via the comments section. What information will you absolutely not post to your networks? The world is watching.

Twitter is a communication tool with many uses. Here's how Twitter works for me.

One of my biggest professional regrets was not writing a book on Twitter when I first joined the site in 2008. I saw early on what the potential was for the site when I was joking with one of the top 50 CEOs to follow on Twitter about creating a GPS that had rapper/icon Snoop Dogg’s signature voice and mannerisms directing you turn-by-turn and someone actually going forth and delivering that exact concept.
Early in my Twitter usage, I was amazed at the fact that I could communicate directly with many people who have several gatekeepers that prevent phone, email, and most form of personal contact. This lead to opportunities that I clearly dropped the ball on including the chance to put together a major speaking tour with a world renowned speaker with well over 100,000 followers and an exclusive interview with a very prominent filmmaker (both who will remain nameless so I can move on from the agony of those missed opps)

Twitter has enhanced my overall contacts management including follow-up. I categorize Twitter as front-end communications which consist of quick messages to keep tabs on people I know or should meet in the near future. It has introduced the phrase “I know you from Twitter” into my life as a regular occurrence.

Biggest Changes in Twitter Usage

Integration with Facebook. This means when I Tweet, it appears on your Facebook wall if we’re friends.
I’ve found a majority of my Tweets are commented on Facebook leading to rich discussions greater than 140 characters. Consider it the overflow lot for Tweets.

Contribute Before Sharing
. The majority of links that I share with my Twitter community are read entirely and then commented on that blog or site before I post them to Twitter. Why? I feel it helps maintain quality assurance and my followers can rest assured that I am aware of what content I share.
* Articles that I really believe in, I use my custom URL shorter, which symbolizes me putting my own name and reputation behind that content that I’m sharing with you.
Case in point

Read Timeline Before Tweeting. Always look to engage first.
I like to comment on the happenings of my Twitter community so I look to find interesting posts before Tweeting first.
Sharing Resources Surrounding a Common Theme At the beginning of the week, I think of a few concepts that I want my followers to achieve. I imagine if someone wanted to start a business.
My links and resources that I share for that week will center around the details of starting a business. This could include a link for the following resources:

How Twitter Enhances My Event Attendance:
The Good: I’m Tweeting and interacting with my target niche markets, thus I receive a fairly warm reception during face-to-face encounters. I tweet some personal life stuff and events but I believe that the in-person interaction is where I get expand on those aspects through conversation.
The latest question I’ve been asked is “How was the Marathon?” This is clearly because the topic has dominated my Tweets in the past 2 months leading up to the June 5th Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego.

The Not-So-Good:
Since I started receiving so many “I know you from Twitter” introductions, I started to slightly rely on that aspect and forgot about people who think Twitter is a noisy social site where people talk about what they ate for lunch all day long.

What Excites Me About Twitter Today:
Increased interaction in various chats. I’ve learned quite a bit by participating and it has helped me sharpen my worldview and what I think and thought I knew about everything from leadership to social media to establishing transparency and character online.

How do YOU use Twitter in your personal life and business? Share your viewpoint in the comments section. As always, I appreciate the time that you spent reading this article, join my newsletter for additional in-depth content.

Written by: Shadeed Eleazer

New York. Bright Lights. Big City. My favorite place to speak.

I’ve been notified that I’ll be speaking at SharePoint Saturday New York City on Saturday July 30th, 2011.
The topic that was selected from my speaker’s proposal for me to deliver issssssss:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective SharePoint Professionals

The Book that Inspired the Session at SPSNYC

What inspired this presentation? What void will this fill in the SharePoint community?

SharePoint practice leads, Recruiters, Technical Leads, often evaluate SharePoint talent in terms of skillset, technical aptitude, leadership capability, and professional flexibility aka the ability to be counted on during outages and high pressure deployments.
In my quest to improve myself as a SharePoint professional, I studied those who I consider to be the best-of-the best in key areas. I noticed distinct patterns between top notch SharePoint professionals as I began to get to know them outside of their professional persona as individuals.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective SharePoint Professionals is my evaluation of those qualities and how to create a performance model for your workcenter in order to ‘produce’ top notch SharePoint talent whether the individual is a junior or mid level professional.

Junior to mid-level SharePoint professionals looking to expand their horizons will find key strategies for doing so within the information delivered in this presentation.

I hope to see you in attendance of my session in New York City, I am working day and night currently to prepare to deliver my very best effort.

Written by Shadeed Eleazer
Photo Credit: Downtown Pictures under Creative Commons License

In my ongoing campaign to deliver the best content to my readers, supporters, and colleagues,
I have been releasing newsletter entitled The Digital Goodness direct to free subscribers.

The Digital Goodness is a discussion the latest news, a breakdown of social media tips and strategies, I always provide a Resources section for everything from business plans to concierge services, share a new book that I’m reading or reviewing with each release, and provide the playback (on-demand) segments for my radio appearances.

Since 140 characters isn’t enough to make a complete statement, I use The Digital Goodness to provide
a breakdown of topics that appeal to my supporters. Signup below to receive the next newsletter.

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iTunes is finally legit w/ The Beatles catalog now available

In this playback segment (originally aired Nov/2010) broadcast of Hip Hop Bytes  which airs on WXYC 89.3 FM (Chapel Hill, NC),  I’m discussing the news of  iTunes (finally) getting the rights to include the Beatles catalog of 13 albums in the iTunes store and how that impacts hip hop culture from an up and coming artist’s perspective.

Listen to the playback here:

Why is this important to Hip Hop culture?
1. Legitimacy. Although iTunes dominates digital downloads in the market in the US and beyond, having The Beatles catalog strengthens iTunes’ credibility.

2. Independent Artists. iTunes has a dominate market share in the digital download market. This means your material can be digitally digested to a new generation of new fans via mobile phones and mobile players. This gives your fans a new avenue to check you out. How many artists do you know rely totally on hand to hand marketing of their material?

I also share some tips on digital distribution and how to introduce your catalog to a new generation of fans by making it available for consumption digitally.

Randy Savage: Personal Branding Coach? Mr.Shadeed Says "Yes"!

The Macho Man Randy Savage will forever be remembered as an icon of the World Wrestling Federation’s golden era. He hit his peak as a pro wrestler right when the WWF hit the big lights and primetime audiences. His untimely passing at the age of 58 had saddened many but Randy left behind a few golden lessons from his time spent traveling the world entertaining fans that will provide value for the rest of us.
You don’t have to be a huge wrestling fan (as I was) in the 80s and early 90s to learn a few lessons where they may appear.

Communicate Consistently with Your Audience and Peers
Macho Man Randy Savage was known to always be “in character” whenever he showed up at an arena to wrestle that night or do an in-ring appearance.
When communicating with your audience, what message are you sending? While the content may differ, are you delivering the same quality and consistency that they come to expect from you?

Be Unique in Your Approach and Delivery
Macho Man’s on-microphone persona was one-of-a-kind. His distinctive raspy voice and catch phrases
quickly crossed over to causal wrestling fans and became household words which influenced a generation of wrestlers after him including The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

He entered the ring with long robes with sequins and diamonds and wore the trademark oversized shades.
His ring entrance music “Pomp & Circumstance” was a direct contradiction to the way he wrestled in the ring which hammers home a point. You could not put a label on Randy Savage.
He was wild, unpredictable, and exciting.

Does your brand invoke an emotional response from your target audience?
How do you shake things up and cause excitement in your supporters and buying audience?
Do people ‘care’ when you update your website, add new features, or introduce a new product line?

Having Miss Elizabeth in his corner changed the wrestling world as we knew it. How are you changing your world with your brand?

Changing the Game Requires Rewriting the Rules
In the testosterone driven climate of 80s wrestling, Randy Savage decided to go against the grain by being the 1st wrestler to have a female full-time road manager. Her name was Miss Elizabeth. Miss Elizabeth ultimately became an inseparable part of the Macho Man’s career and legacy, even as he went on to have other female managers such as Sensational Sherrie in his corner.
There were many potential decisions that could have backfired for the Macho Man. Would fans accept Miss Elizabeth? Would they think he was “weak” for having a lady in his corner during the tough-guy era of the 80s?
There are tough decisions that you must make as your personal brand manager. Will the backlash of the audience cause you to abandon ideas that will rewrite history within your niche? Do you have the courage to push the button and change the game and live with the results?

What are your thoughts on the Macho Man’s 3 lessons? How can they be applied to your personal brand and business operations?

Written by: Shadeed Eleazer

You may now access the entire Mixcloud site from your iPhone

On this week’s Let’s Talk Digital broadcast, I introduced my listeners to the release of the new IPhone app for Mixcloud, a London based company that connects the listener to radio, podcast, and DJ mixes of all genre.

The new app has been said to have resulted in incresed visibility for the platform and of course having the ability to access your favorite content on-the-go is a major plus.

I’m sure Android users are chomping at the bit for Mixcloud to release a version for them as well.

Download the app here:

About Let’s Talk Digital
Let’s Talk Digital is a weekly broadcast hosted by Mr. Shadeed Eleazer discussing technology’s impact on the entertainment industry with a specific focus on independent artists and DIY (do-it-yourself) guerilla promotions leveraging technology.
LTD airs on The Indie Top Ten Plus One Radio, which is the only US based top 10 countdown featuring Independent artists.
Indie Top Ten Plus One airs on Virginia based, award-winning World Wide Radio subsidiary The Blaze every Sunday night at 7pm.

"I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."

Stay tuned for a series of blog posts (or just one good one) that illustrates the numerous lessons that preparing for and running the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance has taught me about my life, my goals, and myself.