Friday, December 31, 2010

Social Media and Politics: A Look at the reach of 'Social Media Mayor' @corybooker

Recently, I was catching up on the news, when I spotted an article on Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker by @SuzanneVara, that praised his use of social media to keep residents informed about the cleanup effort after the snow that blanketed and buried much of the North East.

The article made mention of his (as of March 8, 2010) 1.1 million Twitter “followers”, plus nearly 20,000 Facebook “fans”.

Intrigued, looked him up on twitter and WOW. The man *gets it*.

That made me think about my own local Mayor and how Greensboro, NC city government uses (or doesn't) social media.

Greensboro City (no one on City Council or the Mayor has a twitter account) Twitter account was mainly a one way street until yesterday (see for yourself). No engagement and not following local residents who follow them. They don't *get it is my first reaction.

How can a Mayor with over a million twitter followers and Nearly 35, 000 facebook 'likers' manage to handle social media with ease while Greensboro City gimps along telling us who wish to speak with them "Because of the volume of mail received by the Mayor and Council, please do not expect a personal reply but be assured that the Mayor and/or Council member will read your message." Really Greensboro? Really?

It started with one RT, then another . . . soon many social media users in our #triad community were joining in a very robust discussion in 140 or less about how they all wished our community leaders took the time that Mayor @CoryBooker did, to show that they cared about what we thought, support us in what we were doing to build a stronger community on our own and to be more than just another account vomiting information.

Soon Donnie Turlington chimed in to assure us that changes were coming for Greensboro. Slowly, but they were on the way for @greensborocity in 2011.

(Thanks @vkearns @KristenDaukas @SHDickson @brandonburke @scheumanncpa @brandonpierce @doggdaze @PaulJones3 @Donnie_T for participating in this discussion about how we want change from @greensborocity & @CityofWS)

Lesson :

Mayor Cory Booker did more than use twitter to help clean up the streets of Newark, NJ, he helped residents in another state expect more from our local government online.

Thank you Mayor Booker for being the spark to a great discussion in the Triad and across the country!

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For more US Government using Social Media here is a great resource!

How does your local government/city officals use social media?

Who is doing it right?

What kind of engagement do you expect from politicians using social media?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Discounts, Freebies and "Picking Your Brain" does for Business

It's just a fact - you "do someone a favor" by discounting or giving your services away - they never respect your time, energy or talent and often have a deadline of next week or "by Thursday if you can squeeze me in."

This lack of respect and unrealistic expectations create an impossible situation of resentment for both parties. Especially when you don't say no.

Here are 5 reasons NOT to do that job for FREE.

I have had many business mentors tell me this and I now firmly believe it : People only appreciate what they earn or pay for, and even then it's iffy.

Now, I am not saying that ALL discounts, freebies and "picking your brain" sessions are bad. But in my experience, unless what you are giving away has a relatively low impact on the overhead of your company or your family time, it's not worth the headache and lost revenue when you have to pass on paying projects to keep your "freebie" promises.

The people asking you for these favors often don't care that you have a car payment due, or that little Billy needs braces. They only want to know why you haven't given them that 5th set of revisions on that "little" project, or finished adding the 7 extra mock-ups above what they paid for and you planned for . . . . and next time some one want's to pick your brain, use these 23 answers and take it from there.

Let's be clear - There are many deserving charity cases that truly need your time and talent. And when you discover one that resonates with you - then go for it! But when what you have been asked to give takes you away from your paying clients, keeps you at your desk long after you are frazzled and leaves your family scratching their heads on your decisions . . . it's not worth it. I understand that there are pros and cons to this debate, and moving forward I will be more judicious with my time.

Biggest lesson I will take from 2010 into 2011. Learning to say no more often.

My husband has been a HUGE help with this process over the last two years. Creating and protecting our own boundaries (among other things) has been key to keeping the lights on.

I will be the first to admit that we've made poor judgements. Even given discounts in services in exchange for "credit" via social networks that never materialized and ended up costing our family company money.

Learning to say no, even to people you care for, is part of keeping those boundaries protected and living a well rounded and healthy life.

Regardless if it is a family member who wants a "free" website for their business because times are tough- then takes off to Tahiti for a week, or the old friend who needs a "little logo work" that snowballs and ends up costing your company thousands of dollars in man hours and then you never hear from them again . . . bottom line: don't be guilted into a project. Though I understand that there are two sides to website "favors".

Also, don't let someone give you the line of BS that "oh, I will get you SO much exposure" or "this would mean so much to me", or what I affectionately call the 'carrot' of "oh, I've been talking to BIG COMPANY XYZ and will bring you in as soon as I get the go ahead" right after they get you for a quote for services and a free copy of your non-disclosure :: Best one yet - the "it's just a button" cry when asking you about adding e-commerce to their website by Friday. NO, NO, NO and NO!

What does discounts, freebies and "picking your brain" do for business : In moderation it can help you grow like never before, teach you new things and build strong relationships in your community - but left unchecked, you won't make room in your schedule for the people who want to pay you what you are worth, appreciate your brilliant ideas and who respect your time.

One last bit on the "pick your brain sessions" . . . take some advice from Stever Robbins "your ideas are worth MORE than just a cup of coffee."

Damn straight they are Stever! Damn straight.

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What have you learned from 2010?

Will you be more protective of your time and talent? How?

Who is the worst offender of asking for "freebies" from you & your company?

Share your experience of giving away/discounting services . . .

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Every Child Deserves to Smile

It was an honor to recently be asked by Development Director, Wendy Rothstein, of the Carolina's Chapter of Operation Smile to participate in 2011's Dancing with the Carolina Stars.

It is my goal to exceed the $5000.00 that I have been challenged to raise. . . with your help.

"Operation Smile is a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate."

Please help me spread the word by tweeting (@dhatfield @operationsmile), tagging me and Operation Smile in Facebook posts - share this in emails and blog posts with a link back to my donation page.

Every donation counts. You can donate as little as 10.00 or as much as you want.

Want to come to the event? Tickets are on sale now!

Every child deserves to smile.

Take a moment to learn about how important your donation is. Visit Operation Smile's Patient Stories Page and remember that their work impacts lives of local children as well.

:: Here is an excerpt from this page ::

Patient Stories

Lives transformed in as little as 45 minutes.

Children who are born with cleft lip or cleft palate are faced with challenges many of us cannot ever imagine. Many have difficulty eating, speaking or even smiling and in some parts of the world, they are hidden away, kept from socializing, attending school or playing an active role in their community.

Operation Smile reverses this in less than an hour. Our volunteers work tirelessly to help these children have a bright and hopeful future. Throughout the world, more than 150,000 children have experienced this transformation, and a few of their stories are told here.

Abdukerim Before

Fowz loved her son, but knew she could never afford the surgery to mend his smile. She worried that he would be bound to a life of shame and isolation.

Adel's speech was so hindered by his cleft palate, his mother was worried his teacher would not graduate Adel to the first grade.

Ammulu was born with a severe facial deformity that made eating and drinking difficult.

Thanks to friends like you, Angel received a new smile and was spared the taunts and rejection that facial deformities bring. Now his future looks bright and filled with opportunity.

One of 160 children healed on a Barinas, Venezuela, mission

Unable to afford surgery, Binh's parents were distraught. Then they heard about Operation Smile’s new Comprehensive Care Center in Hue.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Value of Social Media

This morning I came across a retweet by Jim Hunt of a link Staci J Shelton shared on leadership. It was the blog post "Those 20 Key Habits that Hold You Back" by Marshall Goldsmith. (You may be familiar with his book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" or even his new book "MOJO")

As I read over this enlightening list of bad habits - I suddenly realized the true value *I* get from the social community of twitter that I am a member of. . . learning.

Many overlook the true value of social media because they see it as an opportunity to shove push message marketing out at a nauseating speed . . . they fail to see that it is a very real community. Where "you the user" are in control of your experience. YOU control the "message" you receive everyday.

Simple right? Someone posts something helpful, you see it - retweet it and hopefully someone else finds it helpful too and they share it. Those members in our community to offer value on a personal level just became more important in our daily routine.

Today's lesson. :: In order to lead - learn how to listen. Rinse, retweet, repeat.

Thanks Jim, Staci and Marshall for being the change I needed today. Glad I was listening to my personal #positiveposse


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What people do you follow on twitter that add value to your life everyday?

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's Your Family hiSTORY?

Over the weekend I heard some wonderful family stories. . . each one bringing the black and white photographs of family members, long since passed, to life.

The starts and stops and facial expressions of an 83 year old matriarch keeping great, great grand stories alive entertained us for hours. It was a magical way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

These amazing family recollections got me to thinking about who will keep these stories alive? How will they be passed on to future generations if we don't capture them?

Often these stories start spontaneously and there is no thought of recording it. . . and you are just so captivated to hear about Granny Clark's quick temper, Uncle Wayne's adventures or how Paw Paw was such a prankster to even think to preserve it.

This morning over coffee I realized that I'm not alone. There are so many of us who need a gentle nudge to Pass on Life Lessons Through Family Stories.

As a Hatfield, I can say some of my fondest memories growing up was helping my Father research our family ancestry (yes, I am one of those Hatfields). . . and with October being Family History Month, I figured this would be a great opportunity to help others.

Here are a few great resources to help you get started ::

10 Ways to Celebrate Family History Month

I found this great little website that has great questions to help you collect your family stories. . . it's not fancy but there are some questions to ask of/answer for your family.

StoryCorps has some interesting questions for getting a conversation going!

PBS : Circle of Stories has a curriculum for Educators or families to use to record their family history.

If all of this seems a bit intimidating to you . . . consider starting a Journal Jar to record family memories.

:: For Geneology Buffs ::

Ancestry :: The world’s largest online resource for family history documents and family trees

My Heritage :: MyHeritage offers free family history, genealogy, and family history search.

Family Search :: Free Family History, Family Tree, and Genealogy - Records and Resources from Around the World

What is your family doing to preserve/research your family heritage?

What is one of your favorite family stories?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Web Design Ledger : Tips, Tools and Tutorials for the Web Designer

I love discovering a website where you can go to and stay for hours because of sheer volume of resources.

Web Design Ledger does not disappoint.

Today they posted 10 Free EBooks for Web Designers. A fantastic list of "ten books contain a wide variety of valuable information for web designers, ranging from HTML5 to a guide for managing your time."

Take some time to look at the Tutorials they provide like 15 Fresh and Useful Photoshop Tutorials or 15 Useful HTML5 Tutorials and Cheat Sheets.

They also offer great tips like 3 Simple Ways to Get Paid More by Clients, A Beginner’s Guide To Website Copywriting and 13 Useful Code Snippets for WordPress Development.

You're starting to get the picture right? These guys rock.

With tool ups like 11 Excellent Solutions for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly and Useful Tools for Testing Cross Browser Compatibility you can see why I say you could spend hours on this site alone.

What sites have helped you with your Web Design?

What is your favorite place on the web to go for tool ups and tutorials?

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog Inspiration: How to Spark the Post

Okay - so I am no Seth Godin. But I read him on my iphone.

Does that help be become a better blogger. Yes and No. I admire that he posts everyday . . . and THAT is what intimidated me.

My personal list of favorite bloggers inspire me - educate me and challenge me to be myself. They encourage me to comment on the posts I read and write posts more often.

When it comes down to actually writing . . . the over all question that always comes up is - "what the hell could I write about everyday that would be of any interest to anyone other than myself."

Many clients ask this when encouraged to blog. And my advice has always been - write about what you are passionate about.

But what happens when you are passionate about SO many things. Where do you start? What should your focus be? How do you keep it going?

Here is what I have learned so far ::

You have to Spark the Post.

Get inspired. - Go for a walk, play a game, read a book . . . step outside of your schedule to think about what you can write about TODAY! One of my favorite things to do is to read magazines. Look at the headlines - what words/images they use to grab your attention?

Keep a blog idea log. - I keep 4x6 note cards to flesh out ideas and doodle. Old school, I know - but its helpful to me to write. it. out. See it on paper, scribble - rewrite and rethink. You can't get that from a computer.

Read more blogs. -Look at the blog articles you are drawn to. What topic interests you the most? Read more from that author and learn by their example. Often you will be inspired by a comment left by another reader or by the author themselves.

Schedule time to write. - Make an appointment to sit down everyday for an hour to write. If you want to see more activity on your blog - you have to be consistent. This may seem hard at first - but it gets easier, I promise. It's kind of like the first day of a diet. . . hurts like hell, but you are doing the right thing.

Gather Tools. - Your best tools for blogging inspiration are the resources you use. Make a list of the people, newspapers, magazines, blogs etc. that you refer to on a daily basis. These resources are where you gather information that shapes your world, both personally and professionally.


:: visit SETH GODIN







What inspires you to write blog posts?

How many times do you post a week?

Who is your favorite blogger?

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Helping Others Deal with Grief

Oftentimes when someone you love loses a family or friend it is difficult to know what to say besides "I'm sorry" or "what can I do to help?"

You may try to provide some stability by carrying on with 'business as usual' without realizing they need to stop, and so do you.

You may even empathize with their grief and have a better understanding of the range of emotions relating to their loss than most . . . But that doesn't mean you know how your loved one will need you.

Often it's not the things that are said - but the things that aren't.

It's the gentle touch, the careful concern and quiet comfort that allows them the space to grieve.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Tribal Society

Take a look around next time you are out at a baseball game, at a networking lunch or having conversations online - We all form tribes. At work, online and throughout our various community organizations.

After watching David Logan's presentation on Tribal Leadership I am now aware of the 5 tribal stages.

1. "life sucks"
2. "MY life sucks"
3. "I'm great and your not"
4. "We are great"
5. "Life is great"

Take 20 minutes and learn more about our tribal society. . . then ask yourself : What stage are you at? Will your tribe change the world?

About this talk

At TEDxUSC, David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form -- in schools, workplaces, even the driver's license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.

About David Logan

David Logan is a USC faculty member, best-selling author, and management consultant. Full bio and more links

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quiet Reflection :: Unplugged

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." -Peter F. Drucker

Do you "unplug" completely without once relapsing into technology?

Do you take time to discover your thoughts at the tip of a pen?

Turn off, unplug and tune into your own thoughts today.

It's amazing what you will discover without the constant barrage of social information, advertisements and the latest breaking news.

How often do you allow yourself time to reflect on your day or week? What activity helps you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

REWORKing my brain

Last week Wayne Sutton made a recommendation for me to read Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson's latest book REWORK after a tweet I posted about going into #vampiremode to get a few things done for Experience Farm.

This morning I finished it, highlighter in hand.

The pages of my new favorite book are marked with a bright neon yellow Sharpie - carefully highlighting plain ole common sense advice that smacks you on the ass, and sends you off to think about what you've been doing wrong.
REWORK is on my desk. And I have already opened it 5 or six times to remind me of what I need to rework in my brain.


Working 16+ hours a day is a common practice. Seriously. What the hell am I thinking.

"Working more doesn't mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more." p.25

"If all you do is work, you're unlikely to have sound judgments. - You stop being able to decide what's worth the extra effort and what's not." p. 26


No one is a machine.


"If I'd listened to customers, I'd have given them a faster horse." Henry Ford

God bless him. Can you imagine the resistance poor ol' Henry faced when tinkering with that damn contraption?

Well, Henry learned how to say NO and if he can do it, than I can too dammit.

"Use the power of no to get your priorities straight." p. 153

"People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable." p.153

It's true. How many times have you said yes to something that you regretted down the road?

I have gotten better at saying no.

You know that gut instinct? Trust it. Say no and explain why. If the person doesn't respect your decision and tries to bully you into doing something you don't believe in, walk away.

You of all people have to believe in what you do.


How many meetings do you have a week?

And I don't mean meeting a friend for lunch or coffee. . . I mean business meetings?

This little golden nugget hit me like a ton of bricks "The worst interruption of all are meetings." p.109

This really got me thinking about how much time *WE* waste on unproductive "chase your tail" kind of meetings.

How much time would YOU spend on just a 1 hour meeting?

Scheduling ::

Preparation ::

Travel Time ::

Transitioning Back into Work Mode ::

Follow Up ::

X number of people in the meeting

I am not saying all meetings are bad - and neither are they. The meetings you do have should be productive with a clear agenda. Everyone's time is valuable.

Often meetings can be avoided by simply asking more questions before you say yes.

Why do you want to meet? What are the goals?

If the proposed meeting is a referral from a peer - then be sure to carefully consider why your peer did not want to work with that person.

I will reconsider the next time someone wants to meet me for coffee to "pick my brain" or discuss the possibility of maybe having a project they think my company might be a good fit for or because someone else referred them.

Example :: regretful meeting experience :: 2.5 hours later my partner and I had NO CLUE what this person really wanted except of course to sell us on their services, vent and gossip about the owner of the company that referred them. No thanks.


"An audience returns often - on its own - to see that you have to say."

I know this. You know this. So why is it so damn hard to sit down and write?

Many clients tell us they have no time. . . Hell, *I* say that about my own damn company blog which has yet to be launched because "it's not quite ready."

After reading REWORK . . . I call bullshit. When you say you don't have time to build your audience, what you're really saying is "there are more important things to do over here".

What kind of message is that sending to the people who may value your opinion or appreciate the knowledge that you share?

One person pointed out to me recently that they enjoyed my 'Danielleisms'. Thanks. I'm not for everyone, but I try very hard to do what I think is right.


REWORK offers simple advice in BIG BROAD strokes of genius.


What book have you read recently that has changed the way you are doing business?

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