“We’d love to have you speak at our event, but we can’t pay an honorarium and are unable to cover our speakers’ travel.”
“We’d love to have you attend the event in [another city across the country] and contribute to the growth of our community, but we’re not able to pay for travel for [attendees/speakers/anyone]. We will, however, be serving [insert 1 or 2 meals] each day.
These are invitations I’ve received from various industry events around the country. Not paying for varying degrees of participation is standard practice for most event planning committees–and it’s a practice that’s doing a serious disservice to communities and hurting business and organizational objectives.
If you’re an independent consultant, entrepreneur, or an expert in your field, you’ve probably heard it: Writing a book is one of the best things you can do to level up your career. And, as a media consultant who wrote a book on social media three years ago, I can tell you that’s absolutely true.
But I can also tell you that it isn’t easy, and not just for the creative reasons that come to mind—squeezing out all of your literary juices onto the page and having them whipped into compelling shape is only just the beginning
If you’ve not been following along in the latest brouhaha concerning sexism and the tech industry, this week saw a monster of a flame war spring up around conduct at a tech conference. Many other terrific bloggers have summed up what’s been happening, but let me offer a set of bullet points and links to bring everyone up to speed…
Whenever I’m called in to provide the leaders of both public and private sectors training and guidance on using digital tools, I sometimes get a little bit of resistance. And that resistance almost always focuses on a single complaint:I just don’t have time for this. People in leadership positions are already juggling a million different roles and tasks, and I’m asking them to take on another that doesn’t, at first glance, feel like it has immediate return on time investment. In the nonprofit world especially, movement leaders experience intensive levels of stress, and social media doesn’t always seem to make sense in the scramble of trying to save the world.
In the social media workshops and trainings I facilitate, one of the most frequent questions I get is: What kinds of things really get a lot of attention on social media? Or, the dreaded: How can I make my posts “go viral?” These questions are especially difficult for folks working in advocacy fields, where updates and news aren’t always rosy pictures, or captivating soundbites. They see a funny video go by, and they sigh, “But how can we do that?”
First, you’ll have to start chanting one of the mantras that I put forth in my classes: Social media tools are not communications tools. They are relationship management tools.
There’s a lot of chatter about Sheryl Sandberg‘s new book and effort, Lean In, going around the Interwebs this weekend. The premise of Sandberg’s work seems to be that women currently don’t have all that they need to be ultimately successful in their professional lives: we don’t speak up enough, we have biological clocks and workplaces that don’t deal well with those, and a variety of other gender barriers. Sandberg wants to build women up to places where they can overcome those barriers, and build a social movement along the way. The book won’t come out til March 10th, and review copies have been hard to come by. (I haven’t tried, for the record, that’s just the word in the backchannels where I hang out.) Thus, it’s difficult to make deep commentary, so my thoughts here are based primarily on the article in the New York Times, a few other other blog posts online, and private conversations with colleagues over email.
When I decided to transform my decade-old freelance consulting practice into a full-service agency with my longtime collaborator, Sonal Bains, making the jump was beyond daunting. My entire professional identity had become attached to my practice, and yet I felt I couldn’t move on with what I wanted to do for the next ten years without making serious changes. But what, exactly, should those changes be? And how should the decisions get made? Here are a few of the big considerations to look at when going all-in on your business.
I love food. I wouldn’t say I’m a foodie, per say– I’m too picky and have to be seriously coaxed into being food-adventurous– but, like every good New Yorker, I love to eat out, and am always looking for tools and experiences to help me sort through the myriad of options here. Over the last few years, the food justice movement has been gaining in momentum, and I’ve learned more and more about the ridiculously difficult economic and working conditions that most food industry people face. It’s time we make the people that prepare our food as important as decisions to buy local to support independent farmers and to seek out organic products for healthier living.
At my latest digital-tools-for-social-good workshop in New York yesterday, everyone wanted to know the ins and outs of metrics and measurement. I interviewed social media metrics Beth Kanter recently, and that interview provides a great intro to the concepts of measurement. (I highly recommend her book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.) But, I also realized it might be useful to walk through setting up some simple measurements with a free/low-cost tool that I love,Rowfeeder.
Since Occupy Wall Streetlaunched over a year ago, many people (myself included, to some degree) have spent a lot of time wringing their hands and wondering, “What is OWS going to do?” Well, this month, in addition to the incredible Superstorm Sandy relief efforts they continue to coordinate, it looks like we’ve gotten another answer: bring the crippling nightmare of American debt to the forefront with its Rolling Jubilee campaign.