Something for would-be writers and spokespeople

Videos

Tebbo's Tips

All the above are free.They help you get started with handling the media or with business writing.

I created them because organisations need to influence their prospects, customers and other stakeholders either indirectly through the media or directly through their own efforts, whether they're self-published (company website/blog) or through submission to a media company. (See Tom Foremski's EC=MC: Every Company is a Media Company if you want to read more.)

The top image links to two videos, each broken down (if you want) into eight mini-videos of approximately two to five minutes duration. The bottom two link to downloadable pocket-sized memory-joggers. (They're actually A4 and come with printing and folding instructions.) If you prefer, just go to tebbo.com which also includes some useful links.

I offer all of this free of charge. In one respect it's me 'giving back' and sharing my knowledge. In another, I hope they reflect favourably on me and my work and attract people who'd like me to work with them. They're all Creative Commons – share by all means, but please don't alter them.

The videos are hosted on YouTube and the memory joggers are hosted on Google Drive. I had some fun writing the delivery script for the Tebbo's Tips memory-joggers, but that's another story.

I hope you enjoy what you see. I showed a few of my more critical friends and they've been very kind.

I'm enormously grateful to Alison O'Leary for agreeing to work out some questions and grill me for the videos. And, of course, to all those customers, friends and colleagues that have helped me throughout a most enjoyable career. Which, incidentally, I hope is far from over.

Blog navel gazing over

My last blog post prompted Euan Semple to post two more of his own. These grabbed far more attention than mine and led to some interesting debate, much of it on Facebook where he's recently taken to repeating his blog posts.
 
Before Euan got involved, I was getting an even mix of opinions. Some who thought I was right to not post much, if at all, and others who thought I was mad to even think of stopping. Then, when Euan got involved – the first time to share my angst, the second time to rail against someone who said "blogging is just showing off". (One riposte to that was the sensible, "Blogging is so varied you can't make blanket statements.")
 
Let's cluster some representative comments. Draw your own conclusions.
 
First of all, why blog at all?

  • Your blog is your gravitational centre
  • Write for your community
  • My community is so small we may as well meet down the pub
  • My community is global, we can't meet down the pub
  • I'm going to move back to my blog to serve my interests rather than some IPO'ed profit engine's
  • If I post knowledgeable/interesting stuff it leads to opportunities
  • Writing forces me to think and get feedback
  • Co-creation results in greater/deeper insights
  • Co-existent thoughts rob dominant thoughts of power

And here are some tips for would-be bloggers

  • Don't do it if your heart's not in it
  • Be selective and deliver gold
  • Be an example of good writing
  • You stand or fall by your content
  • Get people to think, not tell them what to think

Some commercial organisations see blogging and commenting as an obligation. (See the 'heart' comment above.) Someone suggested it's a publishing strategy, just like the pamphleteers of old but with the world as their potential audience.
 
When I was an established columnist, Dave Winer wrote his first blog post. I remember thinking "Who does he think he is?" One of Euan's comments took me right back to that moment. But it's only now, 19 years later, that it's dawned on me what irritated me so much. It was his use of the first person. He was writing as himself, as if he were important. In several years as an editor, writer and columnist, I always tried to avoid the first person. My attitude was "I'm not here to promote myself" (except through the byline, which few people notice).
 
I have a massive list of more great comments eked from the Euan posts, but I'd like to conclude this post with a rather elegant contribution from Vicky Smith (reproduced with her permission). Thank you Vicky. Here goes:
 

"Blogging offers egotistical natures a platform to broadcast and attention seek. For others, it's a release of private thoughts in a more therapeutic manner (one could maybe say both make the blogger feel better). For others again it's for money… This discussion has prompted me to think of blogging like art or painting, a form of self expression, which just happens to be shareable online. I'm sure many artists would like their work seen more, be it for making money or for ego, others less so because it's more a private hobby for personal reasons. It all just depends. We're all different, and it's a platform for expressing those differences, if one so wishes in whatever way one wants."

 

Why I (don’t) blog

Anyone who follows me will notice I don't blog much any more. The overriding feelings I have are a) I don't want to add to the noise and b) I don't want to use it as a sales platform.

This means I will only post if I have something original to share that I think will interest/help my readers.

Does that make sense to you? Or am I barking mad?

Buying in store vs online: advice for stores from Graham Charlton

If I'm buying a commodity that I'm familiar with (or have had recommended), I usually get it from Amazon. If I'm in a tearing hurry, I get if from a shop. Rarely do I look at something in a shop and then buy it online. And, recently, the price differences/hassle factor often combine in the store's favour anyway.

A recent example is a mattress: next day free delivery and they took the old one away. And the company – Jones & Tomlin - had a brilliant website and price matched anyway. What wasn't to like?

But many retailers – and I know John Lewis suffers (suffered?) from this – are plagued by the 'touch and feel' and 'advice-seeking' brigades who then, having found what they want, go home and order from Amazon.

Graham Charlton, who I don't know, but who seems to talk a lot of sense on this subject has blogged about various strategies stores can adopt in his post, "13 ways for retailers to deal with the threat of showrooming".

Thought you might be interested. Lord knows what it has to do with my blog theme though. 

 

Crowd-sourced elearning from mylearningworx

Do you have expertise and passion in a subject? Would you like to share it with the world? For free or for money?

mylearningworx officially launched itself yesterday. The event was marked by an e-learning workshop for the many friends of the company and the beta testers. You can read about it in Kate Graham's blog post.

Now you can see what my last post was about. One of the people behind the company was my publisher at Information World Review. Knowing my penchant for software and training, he asked if I'd like to give the system a whirl. That's how I came to make Tebbo's Kick Ass Writing Class.

Like many SaaS systems, this one is under continuous improvement. It's finished enough to enable people to upload pre-recorded courses. You'll find quite a few on the website ranging from free (like mine) to £50. Low prices should mean plenty of customers. Revenue is split in favour of the author. Free courses are an ideal way to establish the author's credentials.

The site lists all the courses. You can scroll through them, search them or see them by category. Authors can assign courses to multiple relevant categories to maximise the chance of them being found.

The people behind mylearningworx expect e-learning professionals to adopt this platform for hosting their private and public offerings, quite apart from the hoi polloi like me who'd just like to share a bit of useful knowledge with the world. (Although I'm being encouraged to do something more substantial.) They have plans to expand to Australia and have Spanish, German and French versions too.

I think that's probably enough from me. Except to say that I like what I see, I know it's not perfect, but they are listening to (and acting on) feedback from their growing community. If you're at all interested in this sort of thing, mylearningworx is certainly worth a look.

 

Know any passionate pragmatists?

The Right Thing To Do? is a blog where experienced people share their insights – the 500 or so words that they hope will inspire others in their quest to make the world a better place.

Posts are run fortnightly and they provide a useful link for the writer's portfolio. In time, we'd like it to be seen as a reliable place for inspiration and conversation. It is non-commercial.

We make it as easy as possible for contributors, often ghost-writing pieces for those who are too busy to do anything but spend 15 minutes on the phone. Everyone, whether ghosted or edited, gets to approve the final piece.

Each post is about life and work and is non-promotional, although contributors usually mention their affiliations (with hyperlink) in their 40-word bio (plus headshot).

The About us page is probably the best place to check us out.

Do you know anyone who's passionate yet pragmatic? (Including yourself, of course.)

Please let us know.

Thank you.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Here's a list of the posts we've run so far:

Why things will get better from the work of Matt Ridley, December 22, 2011

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire, Felix Dennis, on Good Fortune January 12, 2012

Never mind GDP, what about Gross National Happiness? from the work of Chip Conley, January 19, 2012

Reconnecting kids with the school curriculum by Ray Maguire, January 26, 2012

Has the Khan Academy found the right way to educate? by me with Jim Farver, February 1, 2012

Why green makes business sense by Ben Goldsmith, February 9, 2012

Is sustainable growth a myth? by Clive Longbottom, February 23, 2012

Rag and bone men of the information world by Euan Semple, March 7, 2012

The power of community by Mark Chillingworth, March 21, 2012

Where's the 'social' in 'accountancy'? by Martin Banks, April 4, 2012

Mind the gap by Hussein Dickie, April 18, 2012

Inhumane HR behaviour by Tracey Poulton, May 2, 2012

Listen! (To the right people) inspired by the Cognitive Edge folk, May 16, 2012

Get on the trust trajectory by Rob Wirszycz, May 30, 2012

Baby, bathwater, beware … by Anne Marie McEwan aided and abetted by me, June 13, 2012

 

 

Online Marketing 101

If you need a crash course in online marketing, you could do worse than browse my recent collection of articles and blog posts by experts on the matter.

I had started off, a month ago, intending to investigate what's out there on the subject of 'web-based business to business collaboration' but, as I collected the links on Scoop.it, I found that 'marketing' was the theme that bound most of my discoveries together. Hence the title of this blog post.

When I was a journalist, I didn't really like having to interview marketing folk because they were too sanitised, too in control of their messages and hard to get real stories out of. (Good stories to a journalist are those which carry at least a hint of disclosure.)

However my Scoop.it investigations gave me a new respect for marketing, it really does seem to belong at the centre of B2B collaboration activities. 

Here's a snap of part of my Scoop.it collection (click on the image to see it full size):

B2BCollaboration1

It was 'curated' by looking at hundreds of suggestions from Scoop.it, reducing them to fifty or so, then throwing out the four or five that didn't live up to the promise of the extract.

The result is a neat little package of pieces, admittedly of variable quality, but all of which helped to round out my existing perceptions of how to approach online B2B collaboration.

Since so much work went into the curation, I thought it would be silly to keep it to myself.

See what you think. It's at http://www.scoop.it/t/b2bcollaboration