Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's no 'i' in meme!

What started as a fun email exchange with "empire builder" Sherry Borzo, regarding catch phrases she could use in promotions, has evolved into GeniusWear™, a line of fun shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, clocks, messenger and canvas bags, etc. Basically, fastest way to build a store stocked w/ ready-to-order swag is Cafe Press. We already had several accounts (for SaucyJoes, and Texball) so it was a fast ramp up.

We'll be refining the store navigation as the month continues, but your fastest way to see all the slogans on your favorite product type is to use the Browse Products pull down menu at top left of store page.

Slogans range from (our fav) There's no 'i' in meme, to I'm better in installments See the list below for all of em.
  • There's no 'i' in meme
  • I'm better in installments
  • What's your story?
  • I am not in this alone (click to share)
  • The Wizard of Oz is off to see me
  • #Brilliant
  • I am the Next Big Thing
  • The GuruTrack Logo
As we continue to build out GuruTrack, it's all about covering as many bases as we can to get the brand and culture of curiosity communicated. After finishing Scott Boulch's 6-part (remember, installments?) interview and posting it this week, we have the underpinnings for audio production set up. The hits will keep coming cause we have Women in Wine interviews (Amy Mumma, Natalie MacLean, Julie Brosterman) commencing this week too. Then it's on to more whales to get GuruTrack all hopped up on caffeine, subscribers, inside scoops, exclusives and FUN.

Here's a bonus audio segment from the NadaGuru interview where Scott reveals his take on the Next Big Thing.

Author (Sam Zell/Money Talks) and Real Estate pundit (OKCRE) Ben Johnson is madly working to hatch an article that brings out the best of his new book, GT style, so we can grasp some of the outlandish RE mogul's actions and tactics for $multi-billion success. We also continue to reach out to really fine writers for new stories and profiles that fulfill our promise of delivering backstage access-level intel for our subscribers.

Speaking of Subscribers, our FREE TRIAL Subscriber offer is still in effect. So, a really cheap subscription starts out even less expensive as our thanks for your loyalty. Join us today. And, if you know a guru, you'd like to see profiled, click here. You'll be entered into our FREE iPad Giveaway for one of five (5) iPads. Nice swag, and the odds of winning are ridiculously good so far.

STAY TUNED for much more news, and some wonderfully insightful interviews and reviews coming in the next weeks as we get up a head of steam at GuruTrack.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Texting Fundraising for Non-Profits? Not for Sissies.

Geoff Livingston reports today on non-profit fund-raising via texting that has become so high profile in wake of initial Haiti relief fund raising efforts. It has come up as possibilities in no fewer than 6 conversations around here, and is listed in documents related to the eventual establishment of the GuruTrack Foundation.

But like any effort worth the effort, getting donations via this delivery method is anything but simple.
Livingston writes:
Close examination of texting-based fundraising reveals a wide variety of barriers for 501c3s, including the use of mandatory foundations and ASPs (application service providers) to interact with carriers, a stringent vetting process to become accepted, limited donation amounts of $5-$10, limited short codes, and shared costs with partners (in some cases, the wireless carriers). Even after setting up text-based fundraising mechanisms, non-profits face the challenge of limited function integration, and appealing to donors.
Given the many aspects of texting, from technology to communications, non-profits need to consider SMS with their eyes wide open. Causes may even want to consider alternative mobile channels for communications and fundraising.

He goes on to point out 5 key areas to address, namely:

1. Texting Costs Non-Profits Money While all of the carriers and their non-profit texting partners waived fees for Haiti relief, most causes shouldn’t expect such treatment. Non-profits have to pay set up fees with wireless partners like mGive and the Mobile Giving Foundation, which can range from $3,000-$10,000 in some cases.

2. Non-profits Must Work with a Third Party
It’s not as simple as calling one of America’s big four carriers and setting up a short code. The wireless industry has set up approved third party vendors to vet non-profits. These third party players have stringent requirements to ensure causes meet state charitable solicitation registration requirements.

3. Limited Capabilities
Texting requires an event, such as a celebrity request, a concert, or unfortunately, a catastrophe to compel people to donate en masse. Repeated solicitations in general communications can repel potential donors. Further, other limitations include the ability to interact with texters and garner their contact information.

4. Integrating Texting Into the Larger Mix If discouraged by fundraising options, non-profits can use text messsages for other opportunities. While mobile applications are sexy, SMS marketing offers communications benefits, too. Non-profits can push URLs, facts and opportunities to parties who opt in to such lists. The sky (or organizational creativity) is the limit.

5. Other Options Exist There are more options than just texting for mobile. The great news about the mobile Internet revolution is the certain rise of non-profit applications on the iPhone, Android, and other platforms. If a non-profit wants to look at creating a mobile opportunity, general applications such as social good based The Extraordinaries offer powerful choices.

To see his entire (and very informative) article click here.
To learn more about the author, click here.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flashes of Brilliance Column Debuts this week

In our editorial excavations, we uncover all manner of brilliant people, systems & ideas begging for a share but not feature-story-length fodder. "Flashes of Brilliance" will be new column appearing in the GuruTrack blogs and main site starting this week.

We debated calling it "Flashes of Genius," but that term connotes the "Flash of Genius" doctrine that gauged  patentability on whether "the inventive act had to come into the mind of an inventor in a "flash of genius" and not as a result of tinkering. 'The new device, however useful it may be, must reveal the flash of creative genius, not merely the skill of the calling.' "

The folks we're profiling may have flashes, but they are very much skilled in their calling and constantly tinkering. The ones "flashing" if you will, are our editors as we navigate the skies filled with BSO's (bright, shiny objects) and invariably get distracted and drawn to these brilliant ideas and people like moths to a flame.

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