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Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you….

real Peace

real Love

real Joy

at Christmas and always!

New to Social Media?

There is no question that the world Social Media can be, confusing, intimidating and overwhelming. You have probably heard about RSS, Wikis, blogs, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc., etc., etc. – but you wonder what it all means and and how it can help your agency prosper and grow? – especially in these tough economic times.  Even if you are convinced that you should be using some of the social media tools, you wonder where to begin?

Since assuming the role of chair for the ACT Web 2.0 Work Group I have spent a good amount of time rummaging around the web reading blogs, attending webinars, and watching You Tube videos in attempt to get a grip on Social Media and better understand how it might be strategically relevant for our industry. So, I have personally experienced “Social Media Overload”.

Yet, thankfully, I have found several good resources that have helped educate me along the way. If you are starting the journey into Social Media universe you may find these useful.

Common Craft

Common Craft. I think this is a very cool resource. Basically, they make short simple videos to explain complex ideas. Check out their videos on RSS, Social Bookmarking, Wiki, Blogs and Twitter.

Alltop is basically a digital magazine rack. I found it to be a very simple and easy way to research topics. So for instance, look for iPhone and you get a very comprehensive listing of articles and blogs about iPhone.

Here are two Videos that I think will also help you understand why Social Media is NOW.

Yes, Perry can by a bit “raw” but he gets the point across.

Needless to say there is tons more but I hope this helps you get started. In my research I also used Twitter Search and kept track of everything using Delicious, Socialmedian, and Google Reader.

Question: The ACT Web 2.0 Work Group is looking for insurance agent and carrier use of Social Media. Are you using Social Media in your insurance business or do you know someone who is? If you do please let me know. Thanks – Rick Morgan

PS Check out the new Insurance Groupsite – Insurance Campus – an insurance industry person-to-person networking center.

Two Good Books

Wikis, YouTube, Blogs, Social Networking, Second Life……

Confused? Threatened? Wondering how this is all relevant to you and your business?

The Web 2.0 Culture is creating a permanent shift in the way the world works. There is a great opportunity being created but in order to take advantage of it you must first educate yourself.

If your want to better understand the transformation taking place and how every aspect of our personal and professional lives are being infiltrated by these second generation technologies I would like to recommend two books.

The first is, “We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash The Power of Crowds in Your Business” by Barry Libert and Jon Spector and 4000 Contributors. Basically, the book is about mass collaboration or “crowdsourcing”. It is the concept that the collective “WE” is more powerful and smarter than any singular “ME”. In fact, “the crowd” wrote the book. Enabled by today’s technology we can act in mass collaboration and leverage the crowd’s collective intelligence. According to the authors, “The result is a quantum increase in the world’s ability to conceive, create, compute, and connect.”

This book is not only about how businesses can profit from the wisdom of crowds but it also describes what works and what doesn’t. Several case studies are sited in product development, manufacturing, marketing, customer service, finance and management that demonstrate the value of tapping into and leveraging the power of the “WE”.

The Second book is “Groundswell:Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies” by Forrester Research analysts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.

I think this is a must read for anyone wanting to gain a full understanding of the social transformation taking place and the processes necessary to profit from it.

The authors define groundswell as, “a spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience and get what they need – information, support, ideas, products, and bargaining power – from each other.”

The book uses twenty-five case studies from around the world to show how leading companies are using “groundswell” to gain insights, generate revenue, save money, and energize their customers.

Interview with Jack Burke

Jack Burke of Sound Marketing produces a monthly Audio Insurance Outlook CD. The August CD included interviews with Duke Williams on “Simply Easier Payments”, Chris Amrhein & Peter van Aartrijk of Insurance is Fun on “Network Marketing Lessons”, and “Out of Retirement” by me. Here is the Audio of that interview.

Out of Retirement