Monthly Archives: February 2013

Breaking News: The Passport Advantage website has been updated!

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Passport Advantage website has a new look. (if the link doesn’t work, it’s because of the redirect to www-XX that IBM loves to do.  No one there seems to have figured out that messes with bookmarks.. Try ) I have not yet had a chance to explore it in detail. It looks like some (but not all) of the old issues have been cleaned up and it sports the new IBM website skin. I will post a more detailed review later.  Meanwhile, take a moment to have a look.  For comparison, see my article reviewing it almost 2 years ago.  I’m anxious to see what was done that took 2 years of business justification and web development to accomplish.  Go take a look for yourself and post your first impressions here.


IBM announces MobileFirst and partnership with AT&T

News sources are reporting the new announcement of IBM MobileFirst solutions portfolio.  This is big because, unlike other players in this market, IBM is the leader in remaining device agnostic in the BYOD (bring your own device) business world.  Mobile technology is blurring the lines between consumer and business tools.  There is no doubt in my mind as I watch my 13-year-old daughter do 90% of her computer-related activities on her smartphone that this is the destiny of technology.  It is promising to see IBM extending their mobile architecture further.  They are already experts at cloud services, analytics, social business, and application development.  It only makes sense they would be expanding their mobile initiative to meet the needs of business.

As they are partnered with AT&T, this news is very relevant to the Seattle area  which is home to much of the AT&T Wireless services (Redmond and Bothell).

For more news on this, visit:
NY Times

Get more news about it at the blog of the person leading this initiative, Ed Brill.

Putting Social Media to the test: Face-to-face vs. Online

Which delivery method do you think has the greatest impact: Face-to-face, telephone, or online? Certainly face-to-face allows you to deliver the most personal message, but the web allows for a much broader reach. Phone calls are somewhere in between. So here is the challenge…

I am a firm believer in charity. I feel it is important to give back to the community. Over the years I have been helping with the YMCA Partners With Youth (PWY) campaign.  This fund provides scholarships to families in need so their kids can participate in activities like swimming lessons, summer camp, or after school care. We get to help kids of single parents, parents who have lost their jobs, or many other financially stressful conditions. I know of one kid in particular who was quite a truant, always getting into trouble and usually dragging his friends into it too. One year, thanks to the PWY program, he was able to attend a leadership summer camp. Not only did it get him off the streets, but it brought out his natural leadership abilities. He ended up becoming a camp counselor and a positive influence on many more kids. It’s all about paying it forward.

In years past, during the month of February, I have spent my Wednesday evenings in a conference room at the Seattle Times building across the street from the Northshore YMCA  with dozens of other volunteers making calls to friends, family, past donors and even complete strangers, asking if they would like to donate. We work as teams of about 10 people each, in a friendly competition to see which team can raise the most pledge money. The room is filled with energy as everyone makes campaign calls from their cell phones. Honestly, this is tough work. Very few people feel comfortable making cold calls to strangers and asking for money. I will admit, as outgoing as I am, this is especially difficult for me. I can stand in front of an audience of 1000 people to give a presentation, but it’s all I can do to make these phone calls knowing most people will reject you and some will be downright rude. I found myself at times hoping no one would answer the phone.

So this year I’m trying a different approach. It’s time to put social media to the test to see if I can reach more people in a more comfortable way and make a bigger impact for the kids via my online presence than I would making phone calls. I think this will work well because there is no pressure. People can take their time to think about it, they can give as much or as little as they want. If you would like to help, please visit the donations page for details.  If you don’t want to donate, but you would still like to help, please share my message with your online connections so others will hear it and possibly donate.

It’s the power of small contributions by many people. I donated $100 myself. For some people, $10 is all they can afford to give. Others donate $500 or more. But even if it’s only $1, that’s fantastic. It moves us a step closer to the goal. Many employers will match your gift, effectively doubling your donation. Many people opt for the monthly draft contribution method so they can painlessly turn a small donation, like $5/month for 10 months, into a big donation of $50. (If that is something you want to do, just send me an email at and I can have the YMCA staff will set that up with you. The donor website can’t handle that type of payment.)

So please take a moment to check out my donation page at the YMCA website, read more about how this campaign has helped change kids’ lives, and make a pledge and/or share the link on your favorite social media website.


Doing well or not, it’s all about attitude.

I first posted this in my status on Facebook.  But the comments that followed my post made me realize this is relevant to a broader audience, so I will share it again here.
These people on the Carnival cruise adrift in the Gulf of Mexico are complaining because they have no air conditioning, no lights, no flushing toilets, limited hot and cold food, stuck in close quarters with a bunch of people they don’t know. Some are sleeping in tents outside because it’s so hot.  Funny.  We had the same conditions rafting the Grand Canyon and we all thought it was fantastic!
Interesting how the way you frame the situation can make all the difference between loving it and hating it. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Reminds me of this story…
Share your thoughts.

How IBM is raising the stakes with Social Business right in Microsoft’s back yard.

IBM is coming to Seattle to talk about Social Business!
See the event schedule. The event is March 5.

Did I have anything to do with this?  Not that I’m aware of.  But I am glad to see IBM finally recognize the Seattle area market is tired of having no options besides Microsoft to choose from.  Like everywhere else, businesses here like innovation and they like competition.

So from the makers of Watson, the computer that beat the champions on Jeopardy! and the perennial leader in new patents awarded, comes the innovation of Social Business.  This is a game changer in business communications technology much like email, Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing have been.  IBM has the first and only legitimate offering in this new market.  IBM recognizes their leadership in this market and is making it a point to let the world know:
– What is Social Business
– How businesses are using social technologies to drive business value: reduce costs, accelerate communications, increase collaboration inside and outside the organization
– A path for integrating Social Business into your existing systems, regardless of what brand it is and regardless of the size of your company.

Did I mention IBM is doing this in only 3 locations in the United States and one of those places is Seattle, Washington?
If you work with a team or company of more than about 5 people, it is worth your time to see what they are doing.
Read more about what will be presented.
This will also be an opportunity to network with peers and discuss with others how Social Business has transformed their companies.  The ROI comes quickly and the metrics are compelling.  If you can’t attend in person you will miss out on the networking with everyone else, but they also have a session available online.  Be sure to register.

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