Technology for North Chamber Leadership Lab

Thank you for allowing me to present to such a wonderful audience. Below, you’ll find the apps we discussed during the presentation. Feel free to reach out with any questions. If you liked the Google Glass song in the video, you can listen here:

Tripit (Free | $49/year) – Send Tripit your confirmation emails for your hotel, transportation, flights and even Eventbrite emails to build out an itinerary in the app that pushes to your calendar. Upgrade to Tripit Pro for $49 per year and get notified to price drops in airfare, flight delays and cancellations.

Cardmunch (Free) – Stop collecting business cards. Use Cardmunch by Linkedin to take a photo of the card, have it scanned in, matched with Linkedin and spit back to you for quick saving to your iPhone.

Linkedin Contacts (Free) – Are you interested in sorting through your Linkedin contacts and having their data updated in your phone when they move or getting notified of an anniversary? Check out the free Linkedin Contacts app.

Scout (Free | $24.99/year) – Scout is a GPS navigation app that not only does GPS but ties into your calendar and will if you want to be routed to your next appointment with one swipe. The $24.99 price will upgrade the app with downloadable maps so you know where you’re going, even without service.

Square (Free | 2.75% per swipe) – If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to collect credit card payments for goods and services, check out Square. It’s dead simple to use and you’re charged a flat fee of 2.75% with a monthly option if you do a higher volume.

Clear ($2.99) – Clear is a simple list application that is beautiful. It’s quick and spectacular as a keeper for your top 3 daily priorities.

Concur (Free) – If you need an app to track expenses, file expense reports, expense mileage and approve reports.

Foursquare (Free) – Foursquare might be a location based game, but it also has turned into a fierce competitor to Yelp, providing insightful tips. Locals will leave messages to try items that are off menu or the secret passcode to a speakeasy.

Contact Monkey (Free) – Sometimes you don’t want to carry around business cards or you’re fresh out. Create a Contact Monkey and add it to your signature in your email address. For extra ease, use to create a short link.

Over ($1.99) – Have a little fun with Over, where you can add gorgeous type to your pretty pictures. Does it have anything to do with work? Not really. But you deserve to have a little fun in your life, don’t you?

One last thing…baby modeling.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Go Vote.

Whether or not you believe that corporations are ruining our government and destroying our existence, you should go vote. No voting = no complaining. Do your part.

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

The response is Benjamin Franklin’s when asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

If the noble and patriotic reasoning isn’t sufficient, check in on foursquare and do the following shout to earn a badge: #ivoted

New York City – It’s YouTube in Real Life

Joe Gallo (@jgallo02) kindly allowed me to guest blog my ramblings on his awesome site, Tales of a New Yorker.  A big thank you to Michael Bettiol (@bettiol) for making the connection.  Below is NYC through my eyes.

“I posted a video on YouTube and I’m getting the weirdest responses…some people have said some really nice things and others are being rude and downright profane. How do I keep them from writing the bad stuff?” I was asked by a YouTube newbie. “You can’t.” I explained. This week I visited New York for a wedding in New Jersey. As I walked the streets, I found New York to be the real life version of YouTube.

In a city as large and diverse as New York you find it all. Interested in a comedy show in the middle of the day with a guy that you’ve never heard of but is brilliantly funny? Done. Care to see Ty from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Easy. The beauty and wonder is there on every corner. I spent an hour in Bryant Park watching two guys play Pétanque – it’s not Bocce, that’s a different game. What do I know? I’m from Texas. Want to learn how to play? They can teach you and they’re ready to do so. Are you looking for a funny line from Caddyshack II? Take a stroll down 5th Avenue as my parents did, when they ran into Jackie Mason. I wish they would’ve asked him to be the ball. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na. I know, the line is from Caddyshack, but work with me, okay?

New York is a small place. Cruising down 5th with my mom, I told her, I have a feeling I’m going to randomly bump into someone I know…I can feel it. A few blocks later, the towering Lewis Howes appears. I smile at my mom and just say “here we go.” Lewis was in town for a speaking gig at a conference. He’s based out of Ohio. What are the odds?

I still cannot believe all the things I found to do in one day. In the morning I rose, hopped over to 59th and 5th to meet Harry and Erica Hill from the CBS Early Morning Show. Fellow Texan, Betty Nguyen, sadly stayed indoors. I got caught on camera between the breaks as a crazy woman from Long Island or as she said it, “Long-guy-land” and humorously screamed at her “ma to turn ahn the teeeveeee!!!” From there, I zipped over to NBC’s Studio 1A at 30 Rock for a view of Matt Lauer and to earn my coveted Foursquare Today Show badge. I joked online that Matt still owes me five bucks and that he wouldn’t dare look at me while on camera. It was a great morning – getting a few seconds of face time on two national networks? Not bad. The day was certainly not over. After running around the city for a bit longer, I got to see some friends that I had met at CES for a taping of the Engadget Show. The timing could not have been better since Jimmy Fallon was a guest, then they later showcased the new Microsoft Kinect unit allowing for full body movement and control of the games. Impressive. Were we done? Absolutely not! Off to McSorley’s Old Ale House. McSorley’s is famous for a number of things, including having hosted Lincoln, Roosevelt, Lennon (John, not the Russian, that’s spelled differently), only serving a “light” or “dark” ale and for being the oldest Irish Tavern in NYC.

New York – what a city. As I said, NYC is much like YouTube. If you’ve spent time posting a video with even a few hundred to a few thousand hits and poked around looking for a video to suit you, you’ve had a digital experience of what The City has to offer. Sure, YouTube can’t provide the exact experience but you can find the famous, learn something new, bump into a friend, experience the inspirational, the downright fun and with some of the comments, huff the digital urine that peppers the streets of the city. Could I spend a lifetime there? Probably not, but just like YouTube, I certainly love to visit…and share it with friends and family.

When Social Media Specials Break a Brand Experience


Recently, my wife, my dad and I visited an ice cream shop on the Riverwalk.  As I checked in on Foursquare, the location based service, it notified me that there was a special at the location.  I was pleasantly surprised.  According to my BlackBerry, it said “While you’re in the hood, you should hit up the scoop shop! Check in and get 3 scoops for $3! Show that you’re mayor and and get an extra scoop on us!”  I showed my wife and dad the offer and explained how Foursquare worked.  I presented the offer, but the gentleman behind the counter told me he was unfamiliar with special and he’d have no way of ringing this up.  At this point, I’d experienced a brand disconnect and looked foolish.  It was not the fault of the employee, there merely had been a break down in the system.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time I had experienced a promotion through social media that had not been communicated to the person working the register.  To alleviate this, may I suggest that if you’re looking to do a special offer presented via social media, that you consider the following:
  • Allow the folks working the register to offer their ideas for special offers.  Then, they’ll feel that they’re part of the bigger picture and will learn that there are special offers being promoted.  They may also have additional insight on what the customer wants since they’re on the front lines.
  • Don’t be afraid to make special offers for social media, just measure the results.
  • Communicate the offer to all members of your team. A small flyer behind the counter can help. Include screenshots, if it helps, and train the staff how to ring up the offer so that it is tallied as such for review of the metrics later.
  • Try new platforms and different offerings.
  • Repeat
Here’s hoping that the ice cream shop on the Riverwalk gets the scoop on this post so future visitors can be surprised and delighted not only by their ice cream, but also their progressive offerings.

16 New foursquare Badges for SXSW

Being an avid @foursquare player, I was tinkering on the website when I stumbled onto the page with a foursquare party, 16 new badges, foursquare swag and temporary tattoos.  Track down the right people at the Sobe  Lounge, Microsoft Bing Booth, IFC Crossroads House and SXSW Web Awards. Needless to say, I can’t wait to unlock these goodies and hopefully meet the folks from foursquare in Austin.  Just a few more days, so we’ll see you in the ATX!

foursquare @ SXSW

List of foursquare Badges from Wikipedia

The folks at Wikipedia found it best for the site to delete the list of foursquare badges. I found it useful in helping me aim for my next badge… and @cipriani15 asked, so I had to help! Below you can find a PDF of the page as well as a link to the cached page from Wikipedia. Enjoy.

Special hat tip to Tony Felice for having built this list.

List of foursquare badges on Wikipedia (cached)
List of foursquare badges on Wikipedia (pdf)