Kellee Magee O'Reilly
Director of Doing at MonkeyBar Management, handling event & experience design: an infectious connector of people & ideas.
Arik: this is a great articulation of some of the challenges associated with the 'solo'preneur life. I've been my own shop for 8+ years now and had similar versions of this "reality check" conversation with others who think my gig is amazing. And it is - but it's most certainly not for everyone! I love the diversity of clients that I have, and I agree that finding a powerful network of trusted subcontractors to plug in to projects is a key to success! One of the other issues I would raise is the issue of the "business side of the business" which is not something everyone excels at (and often the cause of some of those longer days/sleepless nights!): bookkeeping/invoicing/contracting, handling your own workers' comp/liability/health insurance to be in compliance with state regulations, being your own tech department, etc.: these are the definitively un-sexy side of being a solo (and one that many ignore - at their own peril!) I strongly encourage others in the solo/smallbiz world to be sure their business back end is covered somehow - in many cases, by hiring someone to help you handle that which is not your core competency.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on 5 reasons why the solo consultant lifestyle isn't all it's cracked up to be
@arikhanson I suspect you're right! I'm not a marketing expert, but it does affect so much of the operations/customer interaction side of things. Some of my clients (on the nonprofit/events/small business side) are seeing dramatic dropoff in what Facebook used to deliver (partly due to EdgeRank, I suspect, and partly due to user fatigue/crowded platform/shiny object syndrome). $2000 - $5000 ++ per month is real dollars and likely more smartly spent in other ways to engage their current and potential community.
7 months ago on Is advertising now absolutely necessary for Facebook brand success?
@bigboxcar Good question - if they're going to sell outcomes (reach) then why don't they sell 100%? Your last 2 sentences are interesting, though - I haven't seen a lot of 'stop tinkering' in Facebook's past, so it's hard to imagine it in their future. If they do get it all sorted out, I wonder how much of the community will still be actively engaged there (and thus worth purchasing reach for). Is the decline in interaction levels causal or coincidental as other interactive communities become vibrant? Will be interesting to watch unfold, that's for sure!
7 months, 1 week ago on Is advertising now absolutely necessary for Facebook brand success?
Arik: I completely agree with your assertions here, if the goal is to achieve "success on the Facebook platform". The bigger question remains whether or not "success on the platform" is absolutely necessary for businesses - on that question, I personally suspect that the jury is still out, and the answer is (and should be) varied based on the business asking the question.
WOW. Thanks to you for sharing such a raw moment. You hit the nail on the head: what matters most isn't the "stuff." No one can steal your memories (but I'm glad the bat was still there.) I send you a giant virtual hug and I'm thankful that it wasn't much, much worse. As someone who has been personally violated before, I know how hard it is to shake that feeling - but I also know that by reaching out and sharing the POSITIVE that you've seen out of this horrible incident, you're taking the first step toward controlling your own space, and perspective, again.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on My iPad Doesn't Matter
(and by the way - with my apologies to @KenMueller for hijacking the comments here with my blather, I'm more than happy to take this discussion offline; I'm still very interested in learning more about the tool and very much appreciate the info / referral to it, Ken!) You can contact me directly if you wish, kellee (at) monkeybarmanagement (dot) com.
12 months ago on The Small Business Social Media Swiss Army Knife
@DannyBrown Thanks for the clarification! Since I’m trying to be a responsible consumer (reviewing the terms of service *before* I jump headlong into the platform), I understand very little at this point about its’ functionality and how it really is intended to work. As you indicate, I’m sure you’ve evolved your thinking about how the platform/interface will function – and an ‘Oct 2011’ ToS for a project barely in beta in June 2012 is a bit of a red flag, indicating to me that the ToS may be a ‘huge blanket’ and overreach the platform’s actual intentions. So it’s hard for me to gauge what you really intend as I read the ToS (unless I happen to be the one customer fortunate enough to the VP responding to my comments in real time!)
The Jugnoo ToS as it is outlined today gives you a clear, irrevocable, and indisputable right to resell or sublicense someone else to resell (in any format, in perpetuity) any created content that is distributed through the platform. You indicate in your comments that ‘if something changes you’d come back and ask permission’ – but it doesn’t look like your ToS requires you to do that at all. Just because you’re a nice, polite guy doesn’t mean that the next guy in your seat will be. And the ‘guys in the seats’ change all the time, so the ToS governs what’s allowed.
I am not a social media professional, but I do negotiate detailed event contracts on a regular basis. And one of the major red flags to me are contracts that over-reach (or are purposely vague) regarding the logical roles and responsibilities of each party within the context of the specific interaction. Regardless of what the project goal is, what the team thinks, what the salespeople represent, what the written contract says is what is enforceable in a court of law.
In my opinion, one of the as-yet-mostly unexplored questions of the contemporary web is that of intellectual property. Generalizing here (not specific only to Jugnoo): Many internet Terms of Service are virtually incomprehensible to an average person without advanced legal education. Will it hold up in court that a company gives up all rights to control its’ own created content - in perpetuity - by clicking one button (indicating they ‘read’ a 14 page, 8-point font Terms of Service in a popup window)? (Or that they can be liable for thousands of dollars in legal fees because they reposted or shared something they didn’t own the rights to?) It’s hard to say. Just because it isn’t now happening doesn’t erase the fact that it COULD happen. That door is wide open with red flags all around for it to happen – because the way ToS are written are unquestionably problematic for the users, and everyone seems to know it (and many seem to say “well, worrying about what it *really* says is blowing things out of proportion”).
Back to you at Jugnoo:If the ToS doesn’t say what you mean, rewrite it.If it *does* says what you mean it to, then I would still say that it’s a red flag on a risk that a business needs to be aware of.
Note that I *still* haven’t gotten past the ToS in order to actually try out the platform. *(So I’m not saying that the risk isn’t worth it – because I don’t know yet!) This is a good reminder that nothing is truly ‘FREE’ – if a small business chooses not to spend money to build their own proprietary tools, then you give up something to use the ‘Free’ tools: paying in privacy, publishing/content use rights, information access, behavior tracking. Risk assessment, mitigation, and management is one of the most critical skills for small business owners. But as I’m reading the Jugnoo ToS as it stands today, it’s a risk that should be clearly understood and not blithely dismissed.
Respectfully, -- Kellee.
@KenMueller Admittedly, this isn't my wheelhouse of knowledge at all - but since the uproar RE: Pinterest's TOS a while back (making the platform essentially unadvisable for small businesses, in the minds of some SM pros), I do pay a bit more attention to them before spending time tire-kicking a site. (I note Jugnoo's haven't been updated since Oct 2011).
I'm all in favor of an easy-to-use, intuitive tool that smartly addresses the 'pain points' of SM management for small / nonprofit businesses (and would even be willing to pay for it, I'm firmly in the 'you get what you pay for' camp) ... but a tool that decisively takes away ownership rights of created content has me puzzled: (again from TOS): "This means that we have the right to use and distribute your Content and Created Content to other websites and media, serve advertisements in connection with such distribution or otherwise monetize your Content or Created Content and retain all revenues resulting therefrom, and you agree that Jugnoo may do any or all of the foregoing..." So, using my own business as an example, if I use Jugnoo to distribute a blog post through FB / LinkedIn ... does that give you the rights to monetize my content in perpetuity across any medium you choose?
@DannyBrown , @KenMueller Okay guys - maybe you can help me here - as I sign in and start to poke around, I notice that the TOS provides that "you grant Jugnoo an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform and publicly display your Content on and through the Services and on and through other services as Jugnoo may elect in its discretion, in any media now existing or hereafter created". When creating tools for small businesses (interior designers for example) or nonprofits (say, with educational video content) , this seems like a pretty broad "turning over of content rights" to an unknown third party for unlimited purposes - including sublicensing to and through any platform. I'm pretty sure that would be a red flag for creative/educational providers that I work with...
@DannyBrown Danny, thanks very much for the offer; I'll most definitely check it out -- seems that many of the aggregation tools that I've seen so far really do throw people (who are already uncomfortable with social tool functionality) a little too far into the 'deep end' (assuming they know far more than they do and without clear hand-holding / help / explain it to me options.) Many clients I've seen are still having problems understanding how some of the tools work in their native platforms, much less on a step-removed. From my perspective, there's a lot of space in the market for a gap-filling solution. I perceive that some social media 'elitists' are leaving a huge percentage of small / nonprofit businesses in the dark, being derisive rather than helpful. Intuitive tools that will help those coming later to the party get comfortable will ultimately benefit the entire community.
While I'm not a "SM pro" by any stretch (I don't even play one on the internet!), I consider myself fairly well-experienced in use of the basic SM tools, and even I get intimidated when it comes to Google Analytics at any real level of depth at all. If this is all-that-and-the-bag-of-chips that you describe it to be, I think the potential audience for this product is ENORMOUS. The number of small businesses who are 'kind of' or 'mostly' ignoring or neglecting SM right now because it's too hard to integrate / measure are vast. Small businesses should gravitate to this. Look forward to trying it out - thanks for the tip!
@ginidietrich We need to TEACH our young people that they *should* have the confidence to say "this isn't right." We most definitely need more ethics training as a part of college-level PR / business courses (and in plenty of other industries as well!) As a society, we need to reward whistleblowers. (If a junior level job requires you to do something unethical to keep it, you'd better think seriously about what price you're putting on your own reputation: Can your integrity be bought for $40,000? $100k? $250k? A million? Plenty of people can, apparently.) Ultimately, all any of us have is our reputation, and she'll be professionally scarred for a long time because she didn't stand up for what she knew was right ... *or* because she didn't learn that ethical behavior is important, and what was 'right and wrong' in this instance. Either the system failed her, or she failed herself, or a little bit of both. So very sad.
1 year ago on Wal-Mart in Hot Water: Honesty and Transparency an Issue
If Mercury & WalMart are knowingly throwing her under the bus, that's awful - but more than an "immature decision" - this was purposeful deception.executed by a woman who was most certainly old enough to know better (and when you know better, you do better.) Lying about your identity? She was a PR person, not a CIA Agent - you don't have to have 25 years of professional experience to know that's wrong. *If* she is being thrown under the bus, she should speak up for herself - but that doesn't excuse the fact that she *should* have spoken up inside Mercury and objected to the unethical approach to the work for the client. Let this be a lesson to us all: don't abdicate responsibility for your own ethical reputation to anyone, period.
Ryan: you have raised some compelling challenges here that old-line associations would be wise to spend some time thinking through. I believe there is still significant opportunity for associations to be a hub of next-level training, advanced certification, government representation and professional connectivity -- but you wisely observe that many of them are not nearly as relevant or interactive online as they need to be. In many cases, their benefits are poorly articulated or hidden behind a paywall that's too close to the 'front door,' with a pricetag that isn't remotely 'try us you'll like us" friendly. And thus, the vibrant community Associations used to be is ebbing away. I mused about a similar subject this week on my blog (irrelevance leading to lack of revenue - a vicious circle), I'd welcome your thoughts! : http://www.monkeybarmanagement.com/scorched-earth-can-you-survive/ . Look forward to reading more from you!
1 year, 1 month ago on Dissociation: Associations and the Reality of Irrelevance
What a truly lovely tribute and a wonderful example of remembering to tell those around us how much we adore them, and why. Wishing Kelly a great birthday and you two both a lifetime of continued happiness together!
1 year, 1 month ago on #FollowFriday: Kelly Dietrich
@ginidietrich As always, your questions are thought provoking: A strong STATEMENT (sans donation) may do the trick if it's well crafted. I agree, the only way to do a donation is if there's a strong corporate mission/vision tie (and I don't know enough about that to advise). I do think that some of their product is currently resold by charities/fundraisers, that may be a product donation (vs. cash) worth exploring. Thanks for posting such an interesting 'thinker' question; will be interesting to watch the follow up!
1 year, 2 months ago on PR Crisis for Skittles In Wake of Controversial Teen Shooting
While I agree it's too early to make any call on this, "hope it dies down" is a not a strong strategy. I would be building options now that move forward without looking driven by the social mob. Skittles may actually have been given a gift here and have a unique opportunity to make a statement about the diversity angle that is so obviously a part of this case. I might suggest taking time to carefully craft a message referencing the inclusive 'Rainbow' element of their brand and make a symbolic donation to an organization with a strong mission for building cross cultural and interracial understanding. (I hesitate to suggest the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition because of the lightning rod nature of Rev. Jackson, but...) It could even be a product donation if the organization is equipped to accept that for resale and grassroots awareness raising. NO, they didn't create this firestorm, but their brand seems tailor made to respond strongly and authentically to emphasize a hopeful commitment to creating a world where all people can live together in harmony in our communities .... (just as all colors come together to create a taste sensation in the bag of skittles -- forgive the superhokey ending.)
Margie: this was a really nice post. I saw that same story on CBS Morning Show, and got all weepy eyed. This year, we are doing small felt Christmas stockings with a little chocolate in them for every one of the 66 people who will wake up in our local homeless shelter on Christmas morning. We just want them to know that someone is thinking about them, wishes them well, and offers a little sweetness. It's not much, but it's something. Sometimes just saying, "hey, I see you ... I wish you well... I want to help" can go a long way. We can all do SOMETHING. There are no small gestures. Thanks to YOU for putting some goodness out into the interwebs every day...
1 year, 6 months ago on Hey, I care about you
Thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful and helpful post. I too have many personal experiences living and traveling with people with various disabilities, and I would add another tip to your list: when you observe someone struggling, ask, "May I help you with that?" Often you feel that you want to give someone in a wheelchair, amputee, etc., assistance but don't know how, or if it's appropriate. Providing they do have the ability to speak, just ask them - they'll say, "yes please" ... or "no, thanks, I've got it' - just like every other human.
... for what it's worth, I don't use the word 'hate' often, but I truly hate the vicious tone of those tweets - and I'm sad that the person didn't seem to absorb your 'tap' on the shoulder. In this new world of online personas (many of us will never meet in real life), when we put thoughts out onto Twitter hastily, with a lack of compassion, or in a mean/snarky fashion, we purposely and gleefully show the world a picture of ourselves as cruel and thoughtless. If that's not who you are, if it's not what you want people to think of you, for heavens' sake, STOP AND THINK before you tweet. Because if it's "out there" it's forever, and people form their opinions of you accordingly. A good lesson for all of us.
1 year, 10 months ago on How to Treat Someone in a Wheelchair - 101