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Archive for June, 2010

Insurance and Social Media

June 30, 2010 1 comment

Recently I was asked:

“How can social media through NetVU benefit you and why should others participate?”

NetVU is the new AMSUG. For those unfamiliar, it is a users group for insurance software, an organization built by users to help other users. What better way to get these users connected than by leveraging social media! Unfortunately, without participation there is no power. How can it be helpful if no one is using it?

How can social media benefit me in a NetVU sense?  Let’s take a look at the world that could be. Say two years down the road after we have a decent presence on Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In or any of the other billion sites that connect us, I run into an issue. Now that I have a solid base of peers, the first resource I’d use would be Twitter. Maybe do a little tweet “Arggg word proposal is crashing with xxx.dll, any advice? #netvu_now”. So now the problem is out there. Anyone that is looking for #netvu_now hashtag sees my problem. That means, developers, managers, support personnel, agency staff, csrs and IT folk, etc can all collaborate on my problem. This provides the power of a real time community, reduces support calls, aids in innovation, builds loyalty, allows instant feedback and a plethora of other benefits. What is lost by not starting down this path? Maybe nothing, but I know one thing to be certain. Social Networking is not going away! Having answers, support and feedback instantly will be the reality. Companies that successfully use this technology to provide those services and use this new way to connect to people (the main ingredient for any organization) will stand apart.

Why should others participate? The same reasons I stated above apply to this question with additional bonuses. Individuals can become a resource. Most people in a users group want to contribute to the betterment of the whole. Social Media facilitates this very well. Some are motivated by the potential of becoming renown for their expertise, others to promote their company, a few may desire more hands on service. Quicker enhancement requests and feedback on new enhancements would easily be accomplished, building brand loyalty while engaging the NetVU community.  The way social media can be used is only limited by the imagination of the organization. Twitter is dynamic crowd sourcing once a community is built.

The problem of adoption initially is a catch 22. Currently in the insurance industry the sentiment is: No one else in the industry is using it, so it must not be effective for our business model… And because no one really utilizes it, social media is not advertised or promoted. Thus, users continue to be unaware of its massive potential. The hard part for an organization is going out on a limb and wrangling this beast into their business. It is a daunting task and unfortunately, too many C-level people think of short term ROI only.

One of the key issues down the road for organizations that haven’t learned how to use this medium is that they will be forced to play catch up and try to wrestle market share away from those who have learned how to engage clients, prospects, and users. Right now it is a fairly nascent technology in the business market, but I believe that if NetVU taps into the potential of social networking, we will see a huge increase in value to the whole community.

This is a small smattering of what this discussion could be. I hope it provides you with fodder to have interesting dialog about the wonder and majesty of social networking in the insurance industry.

A few amazing companies/people on Twitter.

@barbranixon – PR PHD that teaches classes on social media and is just really great person to follow

@sweetLeafApril – Sweet Leaf Tea evangelist

@Moosejawmadness – MooseJaw Clothing

@sanukfootwear – Super cool shoe company

@unmarketing – the social marketing consultant that I feel is right on track

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Our Over the Rainbow

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

A few weeks back we spent 4 days in one of the coolest places on earth. Ft. Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Go there. Its an amazing adventure. It is what lies over the rainbow for our little family.

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Categories: Family

Blame

June 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I am tired of folks blaming BP, Tony, Halliburton and any other for profit companies out there for the oil spill disaster. Just sick of it. It smacks of the lack of accountability that is dragging us to hell. Yes they are evil bastard companies that only want to make money. Yes Tony is a PR bafoon of epic proportions but and I hate to say it, this is not his fault. He may not be the most sensitive of people and he sure doesn’t have many political friends now but he exists to ensure a profitable return to the shareholders of BP. He is nothing more than a poorly controlled puppet at this point. His job is to make the company make as much money as possible.  That’s what big companies exist to do. Make money. To provide a service, to satiate a demand. And that’s where my problems begin I think,  who created the demand?

I created the demand. I am responsible for the oil spill. You created the demand, you are responsible for the oil spill. We have become a people of excess and over abundance. To live this well and be the great nation we are we have to have a few things to make that engine go.  One of those things is oil, lots and lots of the gooey black sludge that is destroying our beaches. What I don’t understand is our reaction to accidents that occur and our belief that we have the power to control all the variables to eliminate accidents from happening. On the odd occasion we don’t stop the accident then by god we need someone to blame. Someone has to be at fault!

Not really, no they don’t.  Its life, shit happens. If you do something enough times chances are the percentages will catch up to you. Of course in retrospect you can go to any scene of any accident large or small and find something that helped create the problem. But its not the root cause.

The root cause of this accident is consequence free consumption. We pitch a bloody fit when oil prices rise 5 cents, politicians start to cringe and people start to stampede so we say drill baby drill, keep the people happy, give them what they want. So they dig thousands of wells to ensure the steady flow of oil. And when one of those wells, that our demand created has an accident we look everywhere except where we need to for someone or something to blame. The sad part is we all know, in the back of our minds we all know, its our own damn faults. We love our cars and our planes, we hate public transportation, we don’t buy local because its a bit more expensive and not as convenient, we haven’t embraced recycling and the list goes on. We can not have our cake and eat it too. You cant poke holes into the earth all over the place and not expect accidents to occur. We are not all powerful or all knowing.

So lets stop pointing fingers. Figure out what you are going to do to help reduce your personal consumption. what will you sacrifice for the betterment of the whole. And if you cant find something or  if you are unwilling to change then so be it. But don’t get pissed off at black beaches and oily hurricanes of fiery doom.

Recovery

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I am not a fan boy or anything but sometimes I find things that  need to be brought to the attention of folks that might not take a looksy otherwise. If you haven’t heard it already you should at least give Recovery a once over. Most of us are familiar with Eminem, for the last decade he has been a controversial figure in music that hasn’t been overly positive. Many of his songs have been devisive and laden with violence and hate,  but hes changing and you should take notice because I believe it is a herald of music to come.

The most important thing about Recovery is its tone. For the most part it is not about bling or shooting other rappers or how much money he has or bitches or any of the normal fair that so many rap songs are comprised of today. Its about him and us and failure and depression and success. Its about the life that we all go through.  There is a fair amount of cursing but they are easy to get around by getting the albumn from wally world or itunes.

Check it out.

Categories: Reviews

My whine

June 24, 2010 1 comment

I try not to bitch too much. I find constant online whiners annoying as hell. Thats not what I want to hear, thats not why I’m reading but today I need to whine. So bear with me for a few.

I miss my motherfucking wife. I am tired of being apart. I understand there are others that have sacrificed more than we have to get much less of a return than we will but OMG I want her home. Dorothy wants her home and she wants to be home.

For the past 3 years living two and a half hours apart has been bearable  because there was no close end in sight. Well now its close. So close i can taste it, feel it, hell I am already spending the fat dollars that will be rolling in. Of course they are being spent on bills we have accrued to get my lovely lady through Dental school.

You ever have to pee? Pretty badly? While you are in the car? It ever seem like the closer you got to the bathroom the more you had to pee and by the time you were walking through the door you were about 2 seconds away from needing a fresh set of undies? Well thats what every day is like right now.

I have this weird kind of nervous energy, this prancing searching hoping longing feeling that just wont quit. It sucks. Like a damn addict all that I can think of is May 20, 2011, the day we are together again for good. It constantly rings in my head.

Well I know what my drug is, and I know where to get my fix but god damn I’ll be happy when I don’t have to wait till the week ends to get it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Untitled

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Silver, White speckled clover leafs stand out from tile. Turning brings a groan, shudder,  whistle, rush. Cascading cool turns warm as seconds pass. Hands test. Perfect. Foot hits warming porcelain while heavenly scents waft. Head turns like a sunflower towards the sun. Aches release, Worry abates, heat cascades over face and behind ears. Lost for a few precious moments in the music of water dancing, the sensation of heat trickling down every nook and cranny, turning cooler as it nears feet. Fragrant suds aid in the removal of daily grime and daily miseries, trying to achieve inner cleanliness as easily as outer. Steam comes in patches as occasional cold air wafts past wet skin bringing a delicious chilliness.

Turning brings a sputter, a clank, an end.

Categories: Drivel, Just about me

Fathers Day

June 20, 2010 Leave a comment

So today is Fathers day. A day when we all celebrate the men in our lives that have shaped us. Its Dads day. But for me over the years my understanding of this day has changed. I am celebrated today. But I feel the need to pay homage to the person that makes me able to be celebrated on this day. To honor the person that probably saved my life and shaped me as much as anyone else. To thank the person that provided the catylist to make some serious changes in my life so I could be the man I needed to be. My Daughter. Without whom I would never understand what it is to be celebrated on Fathers day. To someone that I am forever grateful to and in continual awe of. Thanks.

Categories: Uncategorized