Friday, September 30, 2011

W Hotel Doha Social Media Diamond Standard

Can a $30 lunch be the most enjoyable experience in eating and service and meeting people in 10 years of international business travel?? Absolutely, when it is the Express Lunch, from The Spice Market at the W Hotel Doha Qatar.

I am in Qatar with Matthew who is running a number businesses in the Middle East. Matthew had told about how good the value of the Express Lunch was at the W Hotel's Spice Market and also how well they "did" social media. So on Wednesday he took me to the W for lunch and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have EVER had - the service, the meal and the "experience" of what Social Media Marketing could be.

Let me share the experience....

Lunch at W Hotel Doha
We arrived at 12.30 to what appeared to be a empty restaurant. As we had not booked we were shown to a meal setting at the bar... it was hard to believe there were no tables available but by 1.30 there wasn't a spare seat available.

Immediately we were seated and a SERVER [W's special name for waiters] by the name of EARTH explained to us the ordering choices and how lunch worked. I had been warned by a number of colleagues that I should order my customary glass of red as it was cheaper than Diet Cola at the W. EARTH expertly explained my choices and I was served a delightful Merlot from Chile for 40 QR [ about $Aus12 ] Diet Cola is by the way 30 QR.


The Express Lunch is 85 QR [$Aus 23] included an entree, a main and a desert. Ordering was fun and interactive and a Chocolate Cake was suggested as my desert. I challenged EARTH as to how good it was and he said "If you don't like it Sir, I will pay from my own money your meal." We exchanged a laugh.

Matthew asked how long before our meal would be served and EARTH said: "About 8 minutes before your Entree Sir"

Chocolate Cake Desert
Matt then tweeted about us being at the W and that he was with @WayneMansfield the Australian Social Media Expert. [mmm he is family and prone to exaggeration] He then asked me to observe how long it would take for the Hotel to acknowledge the Tweet - maybe 2 or 3 minutes!! Wow was my thought!

I took a photo of the bar where we were sitting with the trusty iPhone and posted it to twitter using Twitpick and started to enjoy my Atlantic Salmon... the best I can ever remember having eaten I might say. I tweeted "At the @WDoha great service great food great people how do they do that!"


Nadeche Kunz W Hotel
"Hello Mr Mansfield... thank you so much for your kind words..." a delightful young lady who I later found was Nadeche Kunz, the W Social Media Manager.

I was stunned... so I asked her "How did you know it was me??" And she replied: "From the photo you tweeted on Twitter I worked out where you were sitting.."

At this time the significance of my KLOUT SCORE of 71 [mmm I am a legend in my own lunch box] and number of followers [108k] wasn't known to Nadeche, because I asked if the program recognised everyone who tweeted about the W. She told me it was her job to monitor ALL social media comments and she had every manager from the hotel on BlackBerry Message to act instantly to good and bad feed back...

Nadeche called up my tweet on her trusty blackberry and checked my stats... 108k followers and she reacted "wow you are important...". I have been working hard to build my following and I was pleased to have 1,500! Nadeche then arranged for the floor manager to meet Matthew and me.

Conclusion: The W is committed to outstanding service, food and people, regardless of their influence. Remember I am commenting on the experience BEFORE it was realised that I was doing market research about the hotel and their social media strategy... the true "mystery shopper".

Earth and my 2nd Merlot
While Nadeche and I were chatting EARTH returned and said "Sir wasn't I right about the Chocolate cake?" to which I had to agree. "I can't pay for your meal sir but I can surely pay for your second glass of wine..." and without waiting for my permission proceeded to pour the second glass.

Rating: 10/10 and I don't believe I can say that about any previous experience at a major international hotel.

Hotel W Please Note: Nadeche needs the best equipment to do her social Media Job... iPhone and a Flip would be great!! BlackBerry is great for bbm's but not the best for Social Media. [There Nadeche I did keep my promise..]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH

Are you looking for a new perspective on how well informed consumers decide what to buy, from who and when, this is a must read - the Zero Moment of Truth by Jim Lecinski.

According to Google:

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth is a powerful new eBook by Jim Lecinski, Google's Managing Director of US Sales & Service and Chief ZMOT Evangelist. Jim shares how to get ahead at this critical new marketing moment, supported by exclusive market research, personal stories, and insights from C-level executives at global leaders like General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and VivaKi.

I am finding it fantastic!!

Wayne Mansfield

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thomas Jefferson - A Man of His Times [and beyond]

Thomas Jefferson #rd US President

Thomas Jefferson - life facts:

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence ..

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia ’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello ..

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence .

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Thomas Jefferson's Best Quotes:

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .

Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Thomas Jefferson

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.  A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.

Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why you should get involved with Google + ?

!f you are like me, you probably use a number of Google’s applications like: Gmail, Google Docs, Blogger,  AdSense,  AdWords, YouTube, Google Voice, Google Talk – and most of these every days!

And of course, Google It! has become a figure of speech and also a verb!!
Since the first day I discovered Google search, I doubt there has been a day when I wasn’t thankful for the guys who started Google. I can actually remember the email from a great friend, Pat Rimmington, who said “Have a look at this!!”

For years, Google has enriched our lives, made us more productive, efficient, and saved us time.  They’ve made award winning applications and have over one BILLION users around the world using Google’s various  applications and technologies. 
However, one thing has been missing that would change EVERYTHING!  One thing that would allow Google to completely change the way we use the Internet.  Something that would make our lives simpler, faster, and better online.  I believe that is Google +

Big call I know but think about how with all the applications, technologies, and social networking websites that are available online today, our capabilities have increased a thousand fold yet at the same time our lives online have become incredibly complex and inefficient. 

Think about how many accounts and passwords you have online and how many different websites you visit throughout the day to accomplish your various objectives.  Google saw what no one else could see..... Immense inefficiency.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Celebrities - getting their attention and glow!

Ashton Kutcher is @aplusk on Twitter
Celebrities have made a real impact on Twitter... with the top names having millions of followers.

Whether you want to know what projects they are working on - Ashton Kutcher is working to raise awareness of human trafficking of children  [7 Million followers] or what they are talking about Stephen Fry which is everything British [2.8 million]

Twitter is one of the very few places they spill the beans without their thoughts being filtered by their media minders.

Celebrities may not always want to talk to the press, but if they have something to say they can shout it to the world via this popular online medium.

Some even shout out and respond to their fans personally - that is really something.

So how do you get these people to help your cause?? Retweet their tweets, engage in conversation and write articles mentioning them...

Here are the twitter accounts of my favourite 11 celebrities.

Ashton Kutcher 7 million
Stephen Fry 2.8 million
Lady Gaga 11.5 million
Pink 4.4m
Justin Bieber 11m
Britney Spears 8.5m
Shane Warne  490 k
Paris Hilton 4.2m
Paulo Coelho 1.9m
Yoko On 1.5m
LL Cool J 1.5m

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Quality or Quantity - The Strength of Weak Links


Review by Julia Hobsbawm

Familiar networks cause group think, say the authors; random encounters work best. It’s music to Julia Hobsbawm’s ears.
Superconnect: The power of networks and the strength of weak links Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood
Superconnect Koch & Lockwood
This is the book equivalent of ‘music to my ears’. Why? Because it lays bare the art and science of my business – the business of networking – and declares it indispensable to successful careers, personal growth and enterprise alike. Written in the earnest but easy style of Malcolm Gladwell-meets-Clay Shirky, Superconnect argues that ‘by co-operating with the network forces around us and harnessing them to our ends, we can swap the delusion that we can control the world as individuals for the reality of creating in collaboration with other people’.
Its central observation, which I agree with, is that what makes networking succeed is not the ’strong links’ of a pre-existing contact base but the ‘weak links’ of random encounters that, if acted upon, can yield jobs, career changes or entrepreneurial stepping stones that would otherwise not exist. Using an array of historical case studies, the book illustrates the point about weak links by quoting John Stuart Mill saying there was value in meeting ‘persons dissimilar to themselves, with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar’.
Given that I completed this review on the day that the Cameron coalition entered Downing Street, I think the authors have a point: cultivate your weak links and you may get power: neither could get it on strong, ie party, links alone. If you’re a wine lover, then you’ll appreciate the relish with which the authors identify the different varieties of grape and yield. They are very down on certain ‘hubs’, the familiar networks, such as the workplace, that can create the kind of ‘group think’ that they say led to Watergate; while being very up on what they call ‘network stars’. These are business models that connect people, such as Auto Trader. They describe the ‘network tailwind that drives the firm forward’ in such businesses, which they call ’superconnectors’. Various ‘isms’ and social types crop up. Naturally, this is de rigueur in any kind of sociological management-meets-can-do book these days. My favourite is ‘Rolodex roulette’, an embellishment of the term ‘weak links’ – meeting as many varied people as possible and seeing what you end up with.
Which brings me to my only rub with the book … A fascinating and enriching read, it is predicated on the idea that most people are comfortable with networking. The truth is that many are not. My own experience is that the main barrier to networking is shyness and an inability to enjoy what the authors and people like me take for granted – that it is fun and productive. I would have liked less arguing of the main points and more analysis of how you can encourage this elusive elixir, rather than inspire people to want it and think they can achieve it through osmosis. Perhaps reticence explains why so many connect virtually – Facebook has a quarter of a billion users, Twitter has 50 million tweets a day – rather than in person.
In an interesting chapter, ‘Cyberspace – brave new world?’, the authors explore the phenomenon of customers clustering around a few websites with which they are familiar, mirroring what Koch and Lockwood call ‘hub-link’ structures in the real world. They say that the internet brings about a ‘terrific intensification of the communication and network trends seen before its invention’. In other words, we humans behave in broadly similar ways, and always have done. This is one of the chief appeals of Superconnect. It points out that networking has been practised throughout history and it has just got better with modern technology. I particularly like the example of Diderot’s Encyclopedie, which failed to take off fully in the 18th century, whereas Wikipedia has succeeded at the start of the 21st century because of the vastly greater numbers of people who were able to take part as contributors, thanks to new technology.
The authors, through a series of weak links, met while on the board of Betfair. They have taken a gamble that readers will be as turned on by networking as they are. I sincerely hope that they win their bet.
- Julia Hobsbawm is the founder and CEO of the networking business Editorial Intelligence. www.editorialintelligence.com.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Idea Man

Who really was the engine behind Microsoft?? Was it Bill Gates, brutal CEO Steve Balmer or maybe co-founder “The Idea Man” Paul Allen?

After just reading Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s memoir, “Idea Man,” I think that maybe the reason Microsoft has lost its way is that Allen hasn’t been the foil to Bill Gates…
Original Microsoft Team
Original Microsoft Team Revisited
What I found most engrossing is Allen’s candour, about himself and the company.

He writes: “I left Microsoft a quarter century before Bill did, and we’ve both had our signal triumphs since then but in certain respects, neither of us has been quite as good alone as we were together. I missed Bill’s laser focus on competition in the marketplace, his ability to execute my ideas and keep me from getting too far ahead of what was doable. And I’d like to think that Bill missed my ability to divine where technology was headed and my knack for meeting its trajectory with something big and original.”

Of himself, he is equally revealing. He was a 29% shareholder of AOL and after differences of opinion he sold his shareholdings for a tidy profit. However, by selling his stake in America Online too early, he missed out on a “$40 billion bonanza” as AOL soared prior to the Dot Com Bust..

Allen lost $2 billion on his ill-conceived investment in Charter Communications, a Cable Television company. He says he was distracted by being an investor in 140 companies at the time and blinded to reason by pursuing a dream that was too early. Also a lead investor in DreamWorks, he sold early and pocketed $500 million profit. However Allen believed his investment would have done better if invested in fixed deposits at the bank. What a problem to have… complaining about a $500 million profit – I should be so lucky.

Read my full book review at The Maverick Spirit 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Kenya... Happy goats and me... here I come

It's getting closer... Joanne and I are traveling to Odeda Kenya to participate in the handover of 1000 Happy goats and build classrooms... we have been apprehensive on what we would find but the note arrived from tour leader Ralph Hoey:

Hi everyone

I am in Kisumu this morning and catching up on past emails. I will give you an update.

The five nights that we will be staying in our Child Rescue Centre in Odede, the accommodation will be dorm style. Men together and women together. All the bedding will be provided and is new. The accommodation provided for the rest of the program is twin/double accommodation so couples will be able to sleep together. Regarding the safari, the tent accommodation provided is up market so sleeping bags will not be needed. Some people prefer their own pillows and if this is the case you are welcome to bring your own. There is no need to bring a mosquito net as they are provided.

The Saturday night prior to going on our safari (23rd July) we will be staying at Kiboko Bay on Lake Victoria in up market tent accommodation. While there last week, I was awoken at 3am to the sound of two hippos out side my tent eating grass. Pretty exciting to see these two hippos so close!

The community of Odede are preparing for everyone's arrival. I don't think I have seen so much excitement before with the women preparing traditional dances and songs.

Happy goats in Kisumu
The Happy goats are great. The best goats I have ever seen. All now have fat bellies and smiles on their faces. Our team of young people from Australian have just completed the goat house which is better accommodation then most local people have to live in.

The weather here is perfect . Around 30 degrees but hot at midday. If you wear a hat, please bring one. Also for the opening of the CRC, all Kenyans will be very well dressed and the Bishop from the region who will be guest of honour. Other high Government officials will be attending. Please bring at least one set of good clothes. Remember your torch and towel and sunblock cream if you use it.

There is also a swimming pool at Kiboko Bay for those who enjoy swimming.

WOW I can't wait!!

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