Global Reflection: Finding Value from Facebook Insights and Bit.ly

So far the greatest value I’ve gleaned from having a Facebook page and using bit.ly (a link shortening application) across channels has been through the insights both provide in terms of statistics, metrics and demographics. 

Though Facebook is a bit more linear, with mainly X, Y tables and bar graphs, I love how visual bit.ly is, with its pie charts and use of color palettes to represent different metrics.

Here are some of the most revealing stats so far, beginning with Facebook page Insights:

  • Of the 1,023 users who “Like” (formerly “fanned”) the page, 52% are women
  • Of that 52%, 47% comprise women ages 18-34 
  • Of the remaining 38% male population, 92% comprise men ages 18-34
  • The rate of monthly active users has reached 2,660 — an increase of 241% 

My favorite metric? The countries section, where Insights breaks down my sphere of influence with users across the globe.

According to Facebook and bit.ly, I reach users in 69 countries including the United States (pre-Google+) :

Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Hong Kong, Columbia, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Macedonia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Israel, South Korea, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand, India, Aruba, the Bahamas, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Denmark, Czech Republic, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Portugal, Serbia, Paraguay, Peru, the Phillipines, Costa Rica, Ireland, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, South Africa and Singapore.

Fathered or fatherless (some of us both), we are all connected. Experience precedes belief.

Though most of you may not be over for a beer and bedtime story, or to help move my couch anytime soon, I’m encouraged and humbled by the idea that we’re all here.

Alive.

Able to live in such a way that others are better for having known us, no matter how brief or seemingly trivial.

That’s powerful.  

Fresh-off a whirlwind month of Google+, Spotify, tweetups, the finale of Harry Potter (does an early screening and seeing it twice since the weekend make me a geek? Lol)

and finishing the book Joe Pulizzi gave me at the last Cleveland social media workshop, I’ve mulled around  two lessons.  Though not particularly profound, from the most basic, human element I can only err in potential:

1) Love

The overarching theme of the Harry Potter series and Pulizzi’s Get Content, Get Customers is love. 

To summarize, remember it is not the biggest, fastest, smartest or strongest that wins in the end.

It’s the one with the most heart. 

2) Motive: As John Maxwell (I momentarily had to recover from a schoolboy, star-struck moment when he followed me on Twitter) said in the Journey from Success to Significance, the right motive keeps you from manipulating others. 

Essentially: Power, fame/notoriety and all the glitz or glamour wealth can buy means nothing if you are not led by Love.

If at the end of the day, your heart and mind has no sanctuary, no one else to share in your joy (and grief), what was the point?

For whom, how — why did you get out of bed every morning? If you have nothing left to fight for other than yourself, you’re not really living yet — least of all flourishing.

Some are content to survive. Others will work hard and give their all, and with enough commitment, persistence, faith and a wee-bit of fortune earn the privilege to thrive.  

It is not a right, not a guarantee. Once again, we are not entitled to anything apart from a good attitude, hefty dose of humility, accountability to ourselves (and others)…and hard work.

On a consistent basis.

I’m beginning to see what Tim Ferriss and Guy Kawasaki mean when they say to Give so much that it feels uncomfortable.

I’d add hurts or awkward to those sentiments, too. Pride doesn’t mix well with love or compassion.

And as Forrest said so well in his endearingly glib way:

That’s all I have to say about that.  

  

Passion Precedes Prosperity: Practice, Practice, Practice

CLEVELAND – Lately I’ve tired of ostensibly well-meaning people asking about money and “monetizing the blog.” Some people are motivated by money, power, influence or fame. Others assume and project that onto others simply because they fail to grasp that personal satisfaction and material wealth are mutually exclusive.

So allow me to dispel any confusion over the matter via sentiments of John Maxwell: A leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. As mentioned in previous posts, when you love what you do time is inconsequential. It’s just the nature of our work…entrepreneurs are notoriously hyperactive thrill-seekers.

The challenge is finding (often imposing) balance in work and life pursuits. Lately I’ve pushed too hard, and the personal and physical effects eventually catch up with you. I had to conjure balance, reprieve, harmony.

The best part of what I do, at the present moment? I do it for free. The fundamental law inquiry ‘Cui bono‘ (to whose benefit?) is one of arguably multiple instances in which practitioners lack a singular answer. Leave singularity to politics and theology. We’re concerned with exponential results and solutions.

That’s what game changers like Paul Roetzer, Dharmesh Shah at HubSpot, Chris Brogan, Robert Scoble and Jeff Bullas are referring to when they discuss social transformation — and how our work is never truly done.

It’s about something bigger and better, something profoundly beyond the individual and collective whole. I can’t help but smile when I see the word “evangelist” in social entrepreneurs, bloggers, VCs twitter handles or websites.

As GaGa belts, whether we’re broke or evergreen, it really isn’t about the money (which takes care of itself). We are compelled to write, compelled to lead and create. At the end of the day, the sheets balance and scale tips accordingly.

One of my favorite books of Malcolm Gladwell’s is Outliers. Examining the science of human achievement, Gladwell touches on the 10,000-hour rule. In business and life in general, perseverance and discipline trump intuitive talent, mainly because extraordinary talent is grounded in a web of hidden advantages and opportunities.

But there’s nothing mysterious about pluck and initiative. Thomas Edison had it right: ‘Talent is 1% genius…and 99% perspiration.’ You have to want it more than anyone else. It’s that simple. Attitude is tantamount to altitude.

The gist of the 10,000-hour rule is equally transparent: Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good, it’s the thing you do that makes you good. Gladwell contends world-class athletes, concert pianists, ballerinas, outdoors enthusiasts, artists, writers, figure skaters, entrepreneurs etc. are extraordinary because of the sacrifice, heart and insatiable curiosity they bring to their field. 10,000 hours of anything makes you an expert regardless of niche or industry. Fame, riches and glory –at least in this realm — do not preclude sweat, guts and tears.

Status and titles are irrelevant. Something a significant other once said resonated with me: Whatever you are, be the Best. To add a LOST twist to it, I also like what Matthew Fox (besides the fact his son’s name is Byron) said during a post-series interview last year: One river, many wells.

Whether your work is high-profile, in the air or on a farm, expertise is self-evident, not self-appointed. Where some find value in managing and controlling externally, others simply lead from within. Serendipity, success and significance begin internally. And happily, do not depend on others’ opinions or value judgments. Creativity, passion and student mentality are intangible, not institutions. Some things you cannot teach…

In life, everyone and their mother will have an opinion about what you could or should be doing, who you are and what’s best for you. But as Christina Capadona-Schmitz, Vice-President of PR 20/20 puts it, only you know where you’re headed next. Celebrate milestones and turning points, but remember to be present and savor the creative cycle inherent in our work –and relish visions for the future.

A post in my media stream’s really spoken to me lately: Competitors may find success copying ideas and innovations. But purpose and vision cannot be replicated. And that’s what makes you remarkable.

Whatever you are, be the Best.