Surprised by Fall color: What makes me thankful

treeslandscape

I traveled to Cleveland from my home near Chicago this weekend and had my eyes opened and my spirit lifted. Cleveland is a city that I like a lot, and my trip was planned around a reunion that was guaranteed to make me happy. But somehow – perhaps because I was so looking forward to the reunion – it didn’t occur to me in advance that we might be traveling at the peak of the Fall color season. Continue reading

Eliminate these 2 words to improveyour writing

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. -Mark Twain

ReadWriteI just stumbled upon a web page (truly stumbled upon, as in “Thanks, Stumble Upon, the social media network I almost never use but might start glancing at occasionally after this!”) with a Mark Twain quote so priceless that it inspired this post:

It’s not just the quote, though. The article on the Writers Write website, “45 Ways to avoid using the word ‘very,’” goes to the heart of one of my pet peeves. There are two words that I think writers should excise from their vocabulary, and one of them is in fact “very.” The other? “Thing.” Continue reading

Google Analytics: It’s not just for websites

Did you know that you can use Google Analytics to track more than just your website traffic.

It’s true. In addition to being an enterprise-quality, free website analytics platform, Google Analytics also can be used to track activity on mobile apps and even offline devices, such as point-of-sale systems. You also can connect it up to your other Google accounts – AdWords, AdSense and Webmaster Tools – so it really can give you a very good all-around picture of how your digital programs are working.

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How should you measure social media success?

Here’s a hint: How should you measure the success of anything else your organization is doing?

TapeMeasuresWatermkBeth Kanter wrote an encouraging post on her blog recently, saying she believes nonprofit associations are starting to get smart about social media measurement, looking to analyze its impact rather than just chart fan/follower growth. Speaking at the recent Social Media 4 Nonprofits conference in San Francisco, she said, “I didn’t get asked ‘What are the best tools to measure followers on Twitter?’  Instead, I got asked questions about measuring the longer-term impact of social media – how do we know that our use of social media has influenced a conversion to an action or behavior change or donation?  How do we measure and track engagement to results?” Continue reading