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NYSIA Panel 2/11/08 – Henry Blodget interviewed by Howard Greenstein

Last night, I was privileged to host the NYSIA event at Chase. Henry is currently the co-founder and Editor of the Silicon Alley Insider.

This video clip courtesy of Michael Pinto of Very Memorable who has kindly showed me that I say “um” a bit too much. Something to, um, work on.


More coverage and video via Center Networks
NYSIA February Meeting Recap – Discussion With Howard Greenstein and Henry Blodget
and thanks to Allen Stern for posting it so quickly.

Pictures and video on Facebook:  NYSIA State of the Industry.

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Business Development via Social Networks

Several people, including my wife, have asked me why I do things like Twitter, update my Facebook status, and blog about where I’m going and what I’m interested in. I always believed it was a combination of sharing with my friends (who might learn about a conference, event, or topic from my posts), “eating my own dogfood” (how can you learn about Social Media without fully participating), and, of course a small dose of ego. But at least three recent happy incidents have proven to me that there is business value in doing what I’m doing.

Keeping Loose Ties Active
At a recent holiday party thrown by Larry Aronson, I ran into a person I’ve always liked but never spent much time with. We serve together on the board of NYSIA and he’s a VC (I guess this narrows it down). He came up to me and my wife, and, after the usual greetings, said “I haven’t seen you in a while but I feel I know what you’re up to because I follow you on Facebook. I see your twitters, your blog posts, and pictures, and I feel like we’re in touch.”
Well, my wife’s jaw dropped. Here’s someone who has lots of money to invest, works with companies I admire, and just by participating in Facebook I’m keeping him interested. This hasn’t lead to a direct lead, but it validates my strategy.

Shared Interest Leads to A Pitch
Recently I stated I ‘might attend’ the “Graphing Social Patterns” event put on by Dave McClure and O’Reilly. It’s certainly something I’d like to do, but I’m not sure I will be able to swing it due to scheduling. However, it showed in the Facebook news feed of a college friend who I had connected to, but haven’t spoken with in about seven years. He messaged me on Facebook and asked if I was interested in Social Media, as he had been tasked with looking into it for his company. Through a series of messaging exchanges, it has led from a phone call to an opportunity to pitch his company on Social Media Consulting services from my company, the Harbrooke Group. While the contract is still not signed, I never would have had the opportunity to pitch without updating my social status.

LinkedIn Links a client with a Fortune 500 in 4 hours
Recently I was able to do small bit of consulting with the excellent Truman Company from the Boston area. They are working on behalf of a Fortune 500 client who wanted a connection with, of all companies, LinkedIn. After leaving the call, I used my own LinkedIn network to find Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s excellent community evangelist. Via Mario we got to the correct person at LinkedIn, and had a conference call scheduled in about half a day. It seems obvious, but the networks we build by connecting to people can and should be used to create connections that create value for our clients, our friends, and ourselves.

How have Social Media networks and connections improved your business? Comment or send me a note.

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Web 2.0 for Business panel

I spoke yesterday on a panel at the Eastern Technology Council at Penn State Great Valley.
My host and the panel moderator was Thomas Kozzolikno of Liquid Hub, and the panelists include Anthony Gold of Unisys, Liza Potts of Electronic Ink, Matt Baldwin of BEA, Sean Vandermark of Microsoft, and Derrich Beauchamp of Vignette.
You can read more via my blog at Confabb: Social Media – News Hub

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A new blogging gig – Social Media Conferences

I’ve got a new blogging gig. I’ll be updating information about the latest conferences in the Social Media field, as well as aggregating news and reviews from these conferences and the world of Social Media in general.
You can find the latest info at the Social Media – News Hub and I hope you’ll visit and give it a try.
Coming soon, a classified board. All you folks always asking if I know someone who could do a particular job – this is the place to post – but this part is not yet up and operational….

Your feedback is also welcome as to how I can improve this. And finally, if you’re not sure how to get your conference listed, get in touch with me – howardgr at the gmail email service.

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Dinner Last Night at the NYSE

Thanks to my friends at Corante, I was invited to a dinner put on by Susan Bird for her WF360 Awards, at the NYSE HQ on Wall Street.

I was able to spend a few minutes at the cocktail hour speaking with Jeff Jarvis, Jack Meyers and Cynthia Ginsburg (see photo). (The entire photo set is on Flickr.)

We discussed TV, TIVO/PVRs and a bit about what people are watching, while standing in front of the new Fox Business Channel booth on the floor of the exchange.

Jeff, who among other things is famous for the “Dell Hell” discussion on his blog a few years ago, told me that in last week’s issue of Business Week he got a chance to interview Michael Dell (here on video) about how they’ve learned to listen much more effectively to their customers. Mr. Dell says in a very candid, bloggy way:

“These conversations are going to occur whether you like it or not, O.K.? Well, do you want to be part of that or not? My argument is you absolutely do. You can learn from that. You can improve your reaction time. And you can be a better company by listening and being involved in that conversation.”

Great quote, and an article worth reading whether you’re a competitor to Dell or a small business.

It’s always wonderful to catch up with Isabel Walcott (in black) and Francois Gossieaux (pictured here with me). They seem to be doing some interesting things at MarketHum. I hope to learn more.

I also got a chance to speak with Heath Row for the second time this week, as he had visited Social Media Club on Tuesday.

At dinner I was at the “Storytellers” table,
and met several interesting folks, including Susan Danish of the Association of Junior Leagues International. From their site:

The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

We had an excellent discussion on how many of the Junior League chapters are using social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace to connect their members. An example is the NY Junior League on Facebook (note, Facebook login required). Susan told me how the members are helping the organization to see the value of Social Networks and that the individuals involved are moving the organization forward and getting their message out in new ways.

I look forward to interviewing Susan in more depth to learn what new things are developing because of these social community connections.

One other unique feature of the evening was that WF360 had put cards from their “Leading Questions” series on the tables. As a group we discussed a few of them, and we received a copy of the set (along with some other nice schwag) in gift bags.

All in all a thought-provoking evening of good conversations.