Technology for Business Sake Podcast - Shows

Barack Obama's Social Media Lessons for Small Business

Posted by Brent Leary on Mon, Oct 13, 2008 @ 03:01 PM

Tags: social media, twitter, barack obama, blue state digital, facebook

Show : Barack Obama's Social Media Lessons for Small Business
Guest : Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and CTO of Blue State Digital
Aired : Tuesday October 7th, 2008

There continues to be a great deal of interest in how Barack Obama's campaign has utilized social media in his race for the White House.  He's the most followed person on sites like Facebook and Twitter, two places on the web business people are using more frequently.  His videos, and those made on his behalf, have been viewed millions of times.  And incredibly large numbers of people have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to his campaign.  Which makes it no surprise that publications, from MIT's Technology Review to the Washington Post, are fascinated at the impact social media has had on his campaign.

 Our guest this week is Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and chief technology officer of Blue State Digital.  BSD is the technology partner behind and the social networking site.  Jascha shares with us how BSD got started with the campaign, the strategy behind the campaign's web presence and the way it has fostered a wildly active community.  He also discusses what small businesses can take away from the campaign with respect to using technology to engage people.

Politics aside, there are a number of great points Jascha addresses that are easily applicable to any business looking to build a successful web strategy. 

 A BSD founding partner, Jascha Franklin-Hodge brings more than a decade's experience in software development in the corporate, nonprofit, and political spheres to his role as BSD's Chief Technology Officer. He manages the company's technology staff and operations out of BSD's technology center near downtown Boston, including our infrastructure, the maintenance and enhancement of the BSD Online Tools, and our technology client services.

For Gov. Howard Dean's groundbreaking 2004 presidential campaign, Jascha led the technology team responsible for scaling, securing, and maintaining a high-visibility, high-traffic Web site, which received praise from both the political and tech communities for its usability, reliability, and depth of functionality.

Before entering the world of politics, Jascha was the director of software development for America Online's Digital Music Division. He helped architect several cutting-edge applications including Radio@AOL, Spinner, and MusicNet, as well as the digital music player Winamp. He has also worked for the Art Technology Group and Software Tool and Die (The World), and has consulted to the Computer Museum, Andiron Press, the School of The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Jascha studied computer science at MIT, and lives in Boston.

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The CRM Gang: Where We Stand Today, Where We'll Be Tomorrow

Posted by Brent Leary on Wed, Oct 01, 2008 @ 03:01 AM

Tags: crm, social media, twitter, social crm

Show : CRM Gang: Where We Stand Today, Where We'll Be Tomorrow business?
Guest : Ginger Conlon, Rob Bois, Marshall Lager and John Yaggie
Aired : Monday September 30th, 2008

Last year we assembled a trio of CRM experts to talk about the latest developments and what businesses of all sizes should be considering as they implement crm strategies and technologies.  We're glad to welcome them back to see what's changed, what's new and what's important for you to know- now and in the near future.  Our guests include 1to1 magazine's Ginger ConlonRob Bois of AMR Research and CRM magazine's Marshall Lager. We cover the growing impact of social media on CRM, how CRM may help you retain customers in the current economic conditions, and hear how companies are using tools like Twitter to connect with customers and prospects.  We also pick the gang's collective brain to find out what we'll be talking about next year when we bring them back in 2009.  If you're thinking about integrating social media into your CRM initiatives, this is a must-listen!

Sites mentioned during the conversation:

If that's not enough, we also speak with John Yaggie, senior director of CRM for consulting firm Avanade.  John shares with us the results of Avanade's recent study they undertook measuring the interest, implementation and impact of social media on CRM initiatives.  John shares some surprising findings, and gives his take on why so many companies believe social media is important to the future of their companies, but almost 60% of respondents have no current plans to use it.


Ginger Conlon, editor-in-chief of 1to1 Media , is responsible for the direction and day-to-day editorial operations of 1to1 Magazine and its e-newsletters. Additionally, she serves as vice president of analyst relations for the CRM Association and as a board member of the New York chapter of the ASBPE.  Ms. Conlon is a 20-year industry veteran, having covered sales, marketing, and customer service strategies and technologies since starting her journalism career. Previously, she served as the editor-in-chief of CRM magazine. 

Rob Bois 
works as a research director in AMR Research’s Market Services team with a specific focus on customer management. He is dedicated to the detailed study of business processes and software related to sales, service, and support functions. Rob is specifically responsible for researching, analyzing, and writing about channel management, sales tools, marketing automation and software-as-a-service .

Marshall Lager is CRM magazine's senior editor. He assigns and edits daily news stories for and for the Insight section of the magazine. Marshall covers the sales and wireless technology news beats in addition to writing features and section articles for CRM magazine and its Web site. He also writes "Pint of View," the magazine's humor-in-CRM column.


John YaggieJohn Yaggie is the Senior Director for CRM at Avanade, with responsibility for sales, business development and delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions for Avanade’s enterprise customers.  John has spent the last 15 years working with customers to help them design and build highly integrated CRM systems to meet their unique business challenges.


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Aaron Wall, Wordtracker and 50 Kick-ass Keyword Strategies

Posted by Brent Leary on Thu, Sep 25, 2008 @ 11:43 AM

Tags: wordtracker, seo, keywords, aaron wall, ken mcgaffin

Show : Aaron Wall, Wordtracker and 50 Kick-ass Keyword Strategies

Guest : Aaron Wall, author of SEO and Ken McGaffin, CMO of Wordtracker

Aired :September 25th 2008 

Aaron Wall

Content is the driving force behind "winning friends and influencing people" on the web.  Blogging, podcasting, video and many other forms kinds of good content can move people to engage you in conversations, and maybe a little business as well.  But they have to know you exist.  And when they look for information they turn to Google to help them find what they're looking for.  That's why keywords are still vitally important.  So it's just as important today to have a strategy for identifying and using the right combination of words to drive those searchers to your content.


Ken McGaffinThe folks at Wordtracker recently teamed up with SEO expert Aaron Wall to put out the new ebook, 50 Kick-ass Keyword Strategies.  Aaron and Wordtracker's CMO Ken McGaffin talk about their favorite keyword strategies, the importance of building your keyword strategy before creating your content, and why you need to view your content through the eyes of the search engines.  They also talk about the importance of using your sense of humor, checking public statistics to research your industry and understanding the business bias of the search engines.  

If your new to keyword strategy, or looking for a few expert tips to add to your arsenal, you'll definitely50 Kick-ass Keyword Strategies want to hear what Aaron and Ken have to say, as well as checking out the easy-to-read strategies they've included in the ebook.  You'll also want to check out Ken's Keyword Rich tip at the end of the show on how frequently asked question (FAQ) pages on our websites may not be helping us as much as we think they are in terms of driving traffic.

Aaron Wall is a search engine marketer, blogger, and author of the popular SEO Book. Having blogged for years, worked on over a hundred websites, and read many thousands of pages about search and SEO, Aaron usually knows the answer to most SEO questions, or who to ask when he does not. To really understand what makes Aaron tick you should check out his incredibly interesting story on the about page of his blog. 

Ken McGaffin is an experienced internet marketing consultant. He has worked for major pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, government bodies and non-profit organizations. Ken is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Wordtracker, a leading provider of Internet keyword research. 

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Is This a Good Time to Start a Small Business?

Posted by Brent Leary on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 @ 02:30 AM

Tags: saas, 37 signals, jason fried, rieva lesonsky, peter corbett, video

Show : IsThis a Good Time to Start a Small Business?

Guest :SMB Connects' Rieva Lesonsky, Jason Fried of 37 Signals, Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs

Aired :September 22nd 2008 

We are smack dab in the middle in the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And if we're not technically in the throes of a recession, you'd be hard pressed to explain that to the many people facing foreclosure, job loss and rising gas prices.  But as bleak as things seem right now, could it actually be the right time to start a small business?


Two small business experts share their take on this subject, as we welcome SMB Connects CEO Rieva Lesonsky, and 37 Signals cofounder Jason Fried.  They discuss why both feel now is a great time to start a small business despite the current economic climate.  They also touch on the growing importance of technology to small businesses, particularly in a sluggish economy.  Rieva touches on the importance of creating a marketing plan, while Jason shares how his company uses blogs and sites like Twitter to communicate directly with customers and prospects.  Rieva stresses the importance of negotiating with vendors as a way to get the best prices.  And Jason talks about how to use Software-as-a-Service applications to cut down on hardware and software costs.  All in all these two pack a whole lot of great information into a short amount of time, and gives those thinking about starting a business excellent advice on how to start a business in tough economic times.


We also are excited to have Peter Corbett join us.  Peter, founder of iStrategyLabs, is an expert in creating online videos that captivate viewers and lead to conversations, collaboration and meaningful relationships.  He shares with us the importance of video in your content creation strategy, how small businesses can get started with online video, some tools you can use (,,, etc.) and a few best practices to keep in mind.  



Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky is the CEO of SMB Connects, the leading provider of information, data, decision support tools and research for and about America's small and midsize businesses (SMBs). SMB Connects helps corporations, government agencies, and other organizations identify, understand, and connect with SMBs. It provides information, products, services, and resources to help SMBs build their businesses. Prior to co-founding SMB Connects, Lesonsky was editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine. Under her editorial leadership, Entrepreneur grew to a monthly readership of 2.4 million people and became the nation's leading authority for and about entrepreneurs. 


Jason FriedJason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary. 37signals' products do less than the competition - intentionally. Jason believes there's real value and beauty in the basics. Elegance, respect for people's desire to simply get stuff done, and honest ease of use are the hallmarks of 37signals products. 37signals products, used by over 2,000,000 world wide, include Basecamp, Backpack, Highrise, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. Their latest book, Getting Real, has been called the Bible of Web 2.0. Ruby on Rails, another 37signals creation, is the underlying technology driving thousands web apps.


Peter CorbettPeter Corbett comes to iStrategyLabs with a breadth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited for his role, which focuses on producing marketing campaigns that marry the online and offline worlds. In prior roles, Peter has been a TV producer, art director, international content licensing executive, documentarian, concert producer, and digital strategist. He has a degree from Emory University's Goizueta Business School with a focus on operations, management and entrepreneurship. He is also an alumni board member of the Goizueta Business School and Greater DC Cares. 


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Social CRM, Zoho and

Posted by Brent Leary on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 @ 09:27 PM

Tags: crm 2.0, social crm, six apart, zoho, forrester,

Show : Social CRM, Zoho and

Guest : Six Apart's Chris Alden, AdventNet's Sridhar Vembu and Forrester's Bill Band

Aired :August 28th 2008 

Rich Sloan

We're fortunate to have three dynamite guests this week.  We welcome back Six Apart's ceo Chris Alden.  Six Apart is known for its blogging tools, such as Vox, TypePad and Movable Type.  And recently they created, a site that showcases and categorizes the best blogs the web has to offer.  Chris talks about how they determine which blogs to spotlight, how they come with the interesting assortment of top ten lists, and how you can submit your blog for consideration.


Sridhar VembuWe also have a great conversation with Sridhar Vembu, ceo of AdventNet - the parent company of  Zoho creates online productivity and business apps aimed squarely at the small business crowd.  Vembu discusses the importance of web apps to small business, the kinds of online applications small businesses are turning to, and the importance of CRM to the small business success.  He also shares with us why he feels confident about going up against giants like Google, Microsoft and, and why small businesses are moving from VB/Access applications to online services.


Bill BandLast but certainly not least, we speak with Bill Band, Forrest VP of CRM research.  Bill lends his perspective on the growing area social CRM, aka CRM 2.0.  He shares his definition for this area, discusses how it differs from the previous definitions of CRM, and gives us some ideas on which vendors are leading the social CRM charge.  If you're interested in how social media is impacting the CRM industry then you'll definitely want to hear what Bill has to say!


Chris Alden has a rich history founding companies in the online media space. Before joining Six Apart in September 2006, he was Co-founder and CEO of Rojo Networks, Inc., an Internet company dedicated to helping information consumers effectively manage dynamic content. Before founding Rojo, he was Co-founder and a former CEO of Red Herring Communications, Inc., which was launched in 1993.

Sridhar Vembu is the CEO of AdventNet, the company behind the Zoho suite of online applications. He co-founded AdventNet in 1996, and has been CEO since 2000. AdventNet has transformed itself from a modest beginning as a software company serving network equipment vendors to a be an innovative online applications provider.

Bill Band serves Business Process & Applications professionals. He is a leading expert on customer relationship management topics, having helped organizations define customer-driven strategies to achieve distinction in the marketplace for his entire career. His research focuses on helping organizations establish and validate CRM strategies, prioritize and focus CRM projects, build executive consensus, facilitate CRM vendor selection, and plan for project success. 

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Spotlight on Home-based Businesses and Free Business Data

Posted by Brent Leary on Thu, Aug 21, 2008 @ 06:37 PM

Tags: jigsaw, rich sloan, jim fowler, startupnation, homebased 100

Show : Spotlight on Home-based Businesses and Free Business Data

Guest : StartupNation's Rich Sloan and Jigsaw's Jim Fowler

Aired :August 20th 2008 

Rich Sloan

We double the information with two great guests.  StartupNation's Rich Sloan fills us in on their new mission to uncover the top 100 home-based businesses.  While they don't seem to get the publicity of bigger companies, home-based businesses actually make up more than half of the businesses operating in the country.  And StartupNation wants to shine a bright spotlight on them through this new contest to find the greenest, grungiest, yummiest, wackiest, unique small businesses across America.  Rich will fill you in on why they've teamed up with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to promote home-based businesses, the details on how you can enter your business into the contest, and what you stand to gain if you make the list! 

Jim FowlerWe also speak with the CEO and Co-founder of Jigsaw, a leading provider of business information and data services.  Jim talks about why his company is giving away free company data through their Open Data Initiative, the importance of the providing incentives to the Jigsaw community to provide clean, accurate and complete data, and on slaying the "Data Dinosaurs".  Jim also shares with us why he donned a powdered wig and created a YouTube video to announce the Open Data Initiative.  

Rich Sloan, co-founder of StartupNation, has been starting and selling businesses since he was a teenager. He believes the importance of home based businesses in the US economy is frequently overlooked.

Startup Nation was founded in 2002 to provide a multimedia platform for entrepreneurs seeking business advice. He is co-host of the StartupNation Radio call-in show and is co-author of "StartupNation: Open for Business." Rich has been featured in media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Business, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FOX News. More information available at

As Chief Executive Officer, Jim Fowler provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of goals and objectives at Jigsaw. A veteran sales executive, Jim has more than 12 years selling software for marketing and collaboration applications. Before starting Jigsaw, Jim served as VP of Sales at Digital Impact (DIGI), Paramark and TightLink. In these roles, he built sales departments from the ground up focusing on sales strategies and processes. He was able to leverage his experience as an outstanding sales manager at Personify and NetGravity.  

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Generation Blend - Using Technology to Cross The Generational Divide

Posted by Brent Leary on Tue, Aug 19, 2008 @ 05:40 PM

Tags: generation blend, rob salkowitz, technology gap

Show : Generation Blend - Bridging the Generation Gap

Guest : Rob Salkowitz, author of Generation Blend

Aired :August 17th 2008 

Michael Schultz

One of our missing shows that recently came back to us.  

With three generations of people in the workforce it's important for all of them to understand each other in order to be successful.  Author Rob Salkowitz walks us through how technology can help baby boomers, Gen-Xers and "Digital Natives" work together.  He shares with us the different approaches to technology each group has, and obstacles we all face when trying to effectively communicate across generation gaps.  This is of growing importance as more digital natives start companies and will need experienced, seasoned guidance from other generations, and possibly when they hire people old enough to be their parents!

Rob Salkowitz is a writer and consultant specializing in the social implications of new technology. In addition to Generation Blend, he is co-author of Listening to the Future (with Dan Rasmus), a collection of white papers on the intersection of globalization, demographics, networked connectivity and transparency on the future of the workplace, produced for Microsoft in 2005-2007. He has worked with Microsoft, HP and other global businesses to communicate the benefits of high-tech products to enterprise customers. In 2003, Rob joined the board of Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), a New York City-based non-profit dedicated to providing technology training to older adults looking to participate in their communities or re-enter the workforce.

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Relationship Blogging with Liz Strauss

Posted by Brent Leary on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 @ 03:05 PM

Tags: blogging, twitter, jingle generator, intuit, liz strauss

Show : Relationship Blogging

Guest : Liz Strauss, Social Media Strategist

Aired :August 13th 2008 

Michael Schultz

One of the main principles of social crm is turning content into conversations.  You can't have meaningful business relationships without first participating in meaningful, interesting conversations to get the ball rolling.  Liz Strauss knows how to create meaningful conversations.  So much so that readers to her blog have left over 69,000 comments in less than three years.  Liz shares with us her views on how to create lasting relationships with your blog, the importance of participating in conversations, and her take on Twitter's role in building relationships.  She also goes over her thought process for sizing up folks who follow her on Twitter.  With more than 2,500 followers, she's got a few interesting insights you'll want to check out.  Oh yeah, we'll also fill you in on why it's ok to be called an SOB by Liz.

We also welcome back Intuit's Kira Wampler.  Kira fills us in on their Jingle Generator campaign to help small businesses add a little fun to their entrepreneurial endeavors.  It's one of those audacious online acts we like to point out!

According to EatonWeb, "Liz Strauss is perhaps the most influential relational blogger on the Internet." Her blog -Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - has been called both a destination and an event. Open Comment Nights, a Blog-to-Blog Conversation, a Blogger's Cafe, single questions, and on-the-blog strategy sessions keep readers returning to conversations that often last for days. Her blog has tens of thousands of comments.

Liz has worked over 20 years in print, software, and online publishing, and strategized with publishers in Europe, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. She has worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses, companies in crisis, and corporate giants. Liz led the vision behind last year's SOBCon07 - THE Relationship Bloggers' Conference that gained the attention of BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Innovation Initiative of the Kellogg School of Business.

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Acrobat 9, and Small Business Collaboration

Posted by Brent Leary on Fri, Aug 08, 2008 @ 06:40 PM

Tags: knol, adobe acrobat, collaboration, cuil

Show : Acrobat 9, and Small Business Collaboration

Guest : Marion Melani, Adobe Group Product Marketing Manager

Aired : Sunday July 27th 2008 

Michael Schultz

Turning clicks into customers is one of the biggest challenges facing small business people today.  But before those clicks turn into paying customers, they need to turn into conversations.  And nothing starts a good conversation on the web today like great content.

Usually interesting content comes from collaborations with the right people.  And we welcome back Adobe's Marion Melani to share with us how the latest version of Adobe Acrobat (version 9) can help make our collaborative efforts more productive and effective.  Marion discusses the new features for collaboration, creating multimedia pdf portfolios,and how adds a whole new dimension to using Acrobat.

Plus Paul Greenberg joins me to share his take on the new "search engine" Cuil, and the flap over Google Knol.

Marion Melani is a group product marketing manager in the Business Productivity Business Unit at Adobe Systems Incorporated. She is responsible for driving the go-to-market and business strategy for the Adobe Acrobat product line, including customer and market research, customer segmentation, messaging, pricing, forecasting, and business measurement.

During her 17 years at Adobe, Melani has held several key product marketing and product management roles in various parts of the business, including enterprise server solutions, Adobe Reader, FrameMaker, eBooks, and PDF marketing. Melani joined Adobe as part of the company's 1995 acquisition of Frame Technology Corporation.

Melani earned a BA degree in Social Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. 

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Chris Brogan, Social Media and Small Business

Posted by Brent Leary on Thu, Aug 07, 2008 @ 11:17 AM

Tags: social media, twitter, chris brogan, small business

Show : Chris Brogan, Social Media and Small Business

Guest : Chris Brogan, VP of Strategy - CrossTech Media

Aired : August 7th 2008 

Trying to keep up with the social media space is daunting.  But we hear all the time how blogs, podcasts, videos and other forms of social media are already changing our lives - business lives included.  Our guest today has been involved with social media from the beginning.  Chris Brogan, aka The Hardest Working Guy in Social Media, shares his perspectives how small business should approach these tools and strategies.  He gives his take on whether Twitter will hit the mainstream, the importance of video, and what your expectations should be when you get started creating content.  He also fills us in on what a Twebinar is and how it fosters great collaboration with participants.  If you're looking for great common sense, business perspectives on social media, this show is definitely for you.

Plus check out the New Roles for Today's Entrepreneur Brent came up with for his latest column for

Chris Brogan is a ten year veteran of using social media and technology to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Chris speaks, blogs, writes articles, and makes media of all kinds at, a popular social media blog. Chris is also the cofounder of the PodCamp unconference series, exploring the use of new media community tools to extend and build value, and currently serves as VP Strategy & Technology at CrossTech Media, an events and technology services business. Chris frequently speaks at and attends marketing and social media events, sharing his passion for all things social media.

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