Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Ways to Win Friends and Influence People Online

1. Check your Klout Score and PeerIndex Score.

I’ve already spoken at length about the pros and cons of both services, but they do have a use and a place. Use them to gauge how active you are online, and then see which areas you can improve.

Did you only connect your Twitter account. What about your Facebook? Or Linkedin? Or your blogs?

The more the merrier.

2. Write a blog.

If you aren’t already blogging, what are you waiting for!?

Blogging is a great way to establish authority and credibility on a subject.

If you work hard at blogging, market your blogging, and actually stick with blogging, over time you will end up with dedicated readers.

3. Read and share interesting or useful content.

After you read an article, you shouldn’t just keep it to yourself. You should share it! Sharing content that is relevant and interesting to your social networks, you will increase your value to individuals in your social network, and they will come to rely on you as trusted source for interesting and useful content.

4. Brand yourself across social networks.

This is an important one. By establishing a consistent brand image across multiple social networks, you ensure that your posts reach as wide an audience as possible. For example, I can rely on Facebook for people mostly college students, Linkedin for more professional connections, and Twitter for everyone in between. There are even more social networks you can use to establish influence online, but those three are the most important.

5. Leave comments on other blogs.

And not spam comments like, “Hey check out my post here!” If you do this, no one will want to follow the link back to your website, especially the blogger, for fear that you are a spammer.

If you do leave comments (and you should), you should seek to add something meaningful to the conversation along with a link.Leaving comments provides two benefits: 1) the blogger will be thankful that you contribute regularly to the conversation and will be more likely to help you and 2) by leaving insightful comments, you can help brand yourself as an expert and draw that bloggers readers to your own blog.

What do you think of this advice? Do you have anything to add?




Smokey Robotic – “Outside the Lines” (Data Romance Remix) [Music]

I don’t know what it is about this song, but it really gets me going. It’s definitely clubby and catchy, but there’s actually substance to it. Data Romance took the best part of the original song (the chorus) and built around it, turning a mediocre, pop song into a smashing remix. If you’d like to listen to the original, click here.

Smokey Robotic – “Outside the Lines (Uptown)” (Data Romance Remix)

Post Coming Later Tonight!!!

I feel like I need to do a better job alerting you when I’m going to miss a post or I’m going to be late.

Today is one of those days where I have a lot on my plate – I’m still recovering from Duke’s win over North Carolina last night, and I’ve had work and meetings all day.

But not to fear, I’ll have a post up and ready tonight.

Be there.

Defining Social Capital

The concept of social capital is an integral part of the larger idea of online influence. In order to understand online influence better, we must first define social capital.

Social capital can be broken down into two parts:

–          Trust

–          Capital

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, trust is assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

So for example, you have a certain amount of faith that your barber will cut your hair the way you like it every time, and for a fair price.

Moving onto capital, Merriam Webster defines it as “accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods.”

An example would be a $1000 you received from your grandfather, and instead of keeping it under your mattress, you invested that $1000 in the stock market so that you could earn more money.

Taken together, social capital is a certain level of trust you have in a specific individual and that individual has in you, to satisfy each other’s “social” needs. Take the example of you and a food vendor. By selling you delicious meat pies, he satisfies your need for sustenance. Since you were hungry and bought his delicious meat pies, you satisfy his need to provide for his family. You two have just created social capital.

And like capital, social capital is made to be exchanged – meaning it can be earned, invested, spent, and lost; especially true on the internet.

You can earn social capital a few ways:

–          Transferring social capital from your real world relationships to your online world. Think Facebook friends.

–          Providing something useful, whether it is a product, service, or content.

–          Helping others, such as retweeting a link to a Twitter user’s blog post.

You also can invest social capital. Take Twitter for example. You might not have much to gain replying to Ashton Kutcher’s tweets, but if you do reply to a user’s tweets who might one day be famous, you have a lot to gain.

Social capital can also be spent. Has a friend of yours ever used Facebook to conduct a survey? They are spending social capital by asking you to fill out the survey. In exchange, they would hope that you would do the same for them.

But just like capital, social capital can be lost. If you spend more than you take in, you can go broke. Imagine if you constantly asked your friends to fill out your surveys, but you didn’t fill out any of their surveys. They would eventually ignore you.

Fear’s Icy Cold Grip

I went into NYC the other day to see my brothers, and then I took the Metro North to Westchester to visit a friend.

I took the subway from 1st and 14th to Union Station, where I had to transfer over to another line to get to Grand Central Station.

When the train came, I was late getting there and I found out that the doors had closed and the train was packed.

However, because there were so many people, the doors opened again, and I spotted a chance to sneak in. But I didn’t capitalize on the opportunity, because I figured that the train was already full enough, and I would simply disturb the other inhabitants.

Other subway users, however, had no such reservations.

One man was able to squeeze in where I wasn’t, and I watched as the train sped away, with him laughing at me through the window.

Ok, so maybe he didn’t laugh at me, but I felt like he did.

Because I hesitated, I ended up missing the train I needed to get to Westchester because I was late for my train from  Union Square.

What’s the point of this story?

Sometimes you just need to operate on instinct, before fear takes hold of you, in an icy cold grip, and prevents you from capitalizing on an opportunity.

Sometimes second guessing can be harmful.

This is something that I’ve had an issue with, and still sort of do.

Whenever I think of a great idea for a business, or a blog, or a video, fear takes hold.

It tells me, Don’t you realize someone’s already done this? How can you make it better? Or You’ll never be able to keep it up. That’s a lot of posts you need to write. You can’t create a funny viral video, you don’t have a sense of humor.

And the more and more I think of those things, the less inclined I’ll be to proceed with my ideas.

Is fear stopping you from pursuing your dreams? How are you dealing with it?


My Biggest Weakness

One of my biggest weaknesses is that I’m impatient.

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason I feel like I’m always anxious.

This “anxiety” is especially manifest when I’m learning.

For example, this Winter break I decided to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript so I could begin building my own websites.

Except that most frustrating to me is that I don’t have the knowledge yet. Of course I understand that I can’t possibly master all the nuances of web design in a few weeks. That would take years of work.

But it is still frustrating that I cannot just do; I need to learn.

I think I feel this for two reasons: first, I, and I’m sure many others, are used to instant gratification.

Think about it. How many books or online guides have you seen that claim to help you learn something in a matter of days or weeks? Probably too many to count.

The second reason I’m frustrated is that for many of the 21 years I’ve lived, I’ve never really known what I wanted to do or learn.

If I’m not interested in something, I won’t put my full energy into it and as a result I won’t have the patience to learn because I’m not enjoying myself.

That’s just who I am as a person.

So when I see people make it big, like my buddy Mike Posner, or read about the success story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, I become envious.

Envious that I had never learned and mastered something really well when I was young.

Now, I’ll teach myself, but if I wanted to become a master programmer or musician, it’d be many years before I could realize it.

And this all frustrates the heck out of me. It frustrates me so much sometimes that I’ll procrastinate instead of working on my projects.

So to combat these feelings of frustration, anxiety and hopelessness, I’m setting goals for myself to achieve by certain ages.

This way I can look forward to reaching the pinnacle, and therefore the journey I take to get there will be that much more rewarding.

How do stay focused on learning?

Sometimes You Just Need To Unplug…

Most of my time nowadays is spent online, whether I’m blogging, checking my Facebook, watching a funny video, tweeting, networking, etc.

Not that I don’t go outside, because I do have a social life, but sometimes it’s good to just unplug and talk to people – especially about their career aspirations.

Last night a friend and I went to go see a Duke alumni who is now doing sketch comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade. He’s doing very well; many of his sketches were with big time celebrities, were extremely funny, and he is now moving out to LA to pursue his dream big time.

While at Duke, he was part of an Improv group called Duke University Improv (DUI), where he developed a small, but close group of friends who enjoyed the same things he did: improv, comedy and theatre.

After the show, my friend and I, other comedians and some DUI alumni went out for drinks.

Over drinks we reminisced about Duke, but most importantly, I got to hear stories of how some DUI alumni were experiencing great success through hard work, and at the same time helping to pave the path for the younger members.

Most importantly, I learned that they were doing what they loved – with the goal to make it big – but more importantly because they loved comedy and acting.

For some reason, that blew me away and was refreshing to hear.

These aspiring comedians and actors were hard at work, taking classes, shooting videos on the fly, working part-time restaurant jobs, doing anything to support themselves while they pursued their dream.

They seemed to have a firm belief that success came from hard work and dedication, and just a little bit of luck.

I would have to say I believed them.

One of my dreams has always been to work in the music industry, but for some reason I could never see it coming true, so I always looked at alternative career options that I thought would suit me, instead of trying doing something that I love.

So I’ve officially made the choice that I want to work in the music industry.

Will that happen when I graduate in May?

That remains to be seen.

But I know that through hard work, perseverance, a great network of people, and just a little bit of luck, I’ll get there someday.