Author: Kindling Spirits

On thinking beyond your daily work

Adding value is different than simply performing your required responsibilities. I think my dad is an mystical, several-hundred year-old sensei in a middle-aged father suit. At least the advice he has given me makes me think so. When I was much younger he told me something that made sense at the time, but has proven …

On unplugging and listening

What do you think about when you hear the word “technology”? I get flashing images from “The Matrix,” I think about my iPhone and I resent the constant battle with my inbox. It almost seems unavoidable: I can’t wake up to an alarm, make breakfast or exercise without being connected to some sort of technology. …

Change from the outside-in

It’s kind of counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Most of us assume that change can only start within a company, and that’s where we need to start developing a plan, program or even a movement. And, most of the time, that’s the way to go.I know the kids over at Dachis Group are hot on the trail …

Social Media Bribery

The latest traditional advertising push tactic in social media sheep’s clothing is the new “Become a Fan of Woody” campaign by TGIFriday’s. The long and short of it is that if you become a fan on Facebook of this guy by the end of the month – and they reach a half-million fans – then …

Laying Down On a Sword

Creative people are passionate people. It’s just part of their DNA. Now, they all get passionate about different things, but there are a select few who are passionate about protecting the integrity of a good idea. Mike Goot, Brains on Fire’s founder, was once such person. He would fiercely defend an idea and he often …

The Power of Secrets

We live in an age where people encourage transparency. Open and honest conversations. Putting it all out there. But let me say this: Secrets are still important as ever. When you have a secret, people are drawn to you. They want “some of that.” It’s mystery. It’s intrigue. Secret sauces. Secret recipes. Secret codes. Secret …

Creating a movement at gun-point

It doesn’t work. You can’t force grassroots efforts where there is no passion. Case in point: Energy Citizens (via the American Petroleum Institute), which is a group of over 60 energy companies that are staging protests all over the country in response to the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. So what’s the problem? Apparently, Energy Citizens …

Are you lifting up your customers?

In the Friday pow-wow, Cordell – as he is known to do – captivated the rest of us. And during his talk, he mentioned that when he first started in this business, part of his mission was to lift others up. I’m not talking about getting all religious on you, but I’m sure you can …

The Twitter 20 Interview on WOM

Jay Baer was kind enough to include Brains on Fire in his popular Twitter 20 series, where he interviews folks from different disciplines over Twitter. It was a very different experience, but I really enjoyed it. And Jay obviously did his homework about Brains on Fire and our philosophies, because his questions were thoughtful and …

Doggie paddle before you swim

Let’s get one thing straight – I’m not a great swimmer. (Probably had something to do with that traumatic experience almost drowning in the wave pool at WhiteWater when I was 8, but I digress.) But years of running started to take their toll on my knees and so I decided to add swimming laps …

Soul is the secret ingredient

Geno likes to quote our friend, Francois Gossieaux, on a regular basis: “The vast majority of social media communities are dead-on-arrival.” I can already hear you saying, “But we have all the right things in place, like our Ning and a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account and this tool and that tool and bells …

John Moore on the Mic

We love us some John Moore. Not only have we had the great opportunity to work along side him (he was our first Marketer-in-Residence), but the man behind the Brand Autopsy Practice and WOMMA‘s WOM Enthusiast is a really funny guy. My phone message at work says something along the lines of “Leave your name, …

The Loudest Guy in the Room

I was talking with Robbin yesterday and she gave me a whack on the side of the head set of words that I not only wanted to write down, but explore. We’ve all heard the metaphor that social media is like a party. People mingling and mixing, meeting new and old friends, having a grand …

Social Fresh recap and prezo

It was a great day in Charlotte, NC yesterday as I had the great opportunity to attend and present at the first Social Fresh event. The sold out day was jam-packed with great prezos, but the most interesting to me was to see what David Armano is up to on his new adventure at Dachis …

On looking outside of your discipline

Sometimes the best inspiration for your work has nothing to do with your work at all. Much marketing news is fast and cheap these days – the ability to share or access information on new efforts, results and happenings has become almost instant. The sheer volume of intelligence is daunting and keeping up with it …

Do the Right Thing

I had the great opportunity to go hang out in Minneapolis last week and attend BlogWell at General Mills HQ. It was a great day filled with fantastic talks and good people. Good times. Good times. One of the highlights of the day was Scott Monty from Ford. His slides were beautiful, his content was …

We need your SXSWi vote – Best Buy Mi11 Case Study

So you’ve probably heard that the voting is open for SXSW Interactive 2010. And you’ve also probably heard that there are over 2,000 entries. That’s a lot. A whole lot. And a lot of reading as well. Allow me to guide you in one direction, if I may. Do you really want to hear a …

Standing for something is part of your Identity

Continuing with a couple of themes from last week – Don’t forget about Identity and the stand on the Pay-Per-Tweet nonsense – it got me to thinking (along with the cues from friends) about how it is so much easier to be against something than it is to be for something. But both are very …

Don't forget about Identity

I’m talking to you “everyone should be using social media” folks. And I’m tired about talking about social media. So let’s talk about something that’s way, WAY bigger: your identity. Your brand. Who you are and what you believe in as a company. Your culture. All of it – it’s your identity. And before you …

Where I stand on the whole “pay-per-blog/sponsored tweets” thing.

I’m against it. Now before you start throwing all the semantics at me, let me ‘splain. I know that a lot of people who are questioning the practice of pay-per-post and sponsored tweets are talking about the disclosure policies and the trouble with enforcing them. But let’s put that aside for a moment, shall we? …