Category Archives: Digital Skills

From Non-Technical Founder to Technical

When I last wrote, I was working on a new startup. It did not succeed, but was easily one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the past few years. Because in this last startup, I learned to code. This is something a lot of business founders are curious about, possibly scared of, and unsure of how to do it or if it’s worth it. So I wanted to share the story of my path from non-technical to technical and some thoughts on the pros and cons of business founders learning to code.

My Story

I started with the [Read the rest »]

How to Make Twitter Take Less Time

Making Twitter Take Less TimeIf you’re using twitter professionally, efficiency is important. There are some simple ways to save time without sacrificing substance. Building lists, saving searches, queuing content, and using Tweetfilter can help you keep twitter valuable, effective, and low-cost.

Build lists of the people you want to interact with

You want your audience, influencers, and others to follow you, but you don’t want to be a spammy follower. Good twitter professionals understand that while following another user is one of the best triggers for a follow-back, having a positive relationship with the person you’re following is key to making that succeed. Lists … [Read the rest »]

How to Add Value to a Discussion

Join the conversation!, the Cluetrain Manifesto said. And every year new businesses / bloggers / young professionals hop eagerly aboard, charging into your blog comments / presentations / conferences to say:

“Hi! Great post / talk / point. Could you answer a question you already answered in it? Here’s something you said, restated in a slightly different way. Now, could you do something for me? This task, or that task, that has no clear benefit to you, and by the way, visit my website at www.mywebsite.com. Thanks! Great post! Bye!”

Shilouettes of people in a discussion.A-wha? Clearly, this isn’t the way anyone wants to … [Read the rest »]

3 Ways to Find Anything Online

Friends and colleagues have given me a lot of praise for seemingly knowing about everything web-related. And while I can answer a good number of “How can I…”, “What are the…”, and “What’s the best…” questions off the top of my head, the biggest lesson I’ve learned about providing value to others is that it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing how to find almost anything. Below are my top 3 resources for being able to find almost anything.

1) Delicious Bookmarks

The “biggest collection of bookmarks in the universe” is searchable & tag-browsable, making it an invaluable … [Read the rest »]

Turn Bad Members into Good Members in Online Communities

Are there ‘people’ in your online community that act like angry 11-year-olds? Do they ridicule others, make ridiculous claims, cause drama, and try to be as much of pain in the ASP (if you’re using Microsoft technologies) as possible? Social networks expert danah boyd posted some thoughts about problem users, and asked how we might fix the problems that bring out their negative behaviors. I think I have some answers…

It’s All About Attention

danah writes: “people regularly seek attention (even negative attention) in public situations and [...] public forums notoriously draw in those who are lonely, bored, desperate, … [Read the rest »]

Web Definitions You Need to Succeed – Part II

How frustrated are you when you can’t find what you’re looking for? When you’re looking for your keys, your glasses, or some scribbled note with a 3 AM revelation, you have only yourself to blame. But when you’re looking for a business’s hours of operations, some sense of person’s work experience, or a certain fact or figure, the people responsible for that information had better have a presence site. In my last post I talked about how important it is to understand the purpose behind building websites, and defined the traits of sites meant to be destination sites. … [Read the rest »]

Web Definitions You Need to Succeed – Part I

You do not want a ‘Web 2.0′ site. Web 2.0 is a near-useless term, because there are no clear lines to show where the web has changed. But clearly, it has changed, and with the proliferation of new site concepts and the technologies that enable them, there are more uses for a web site than ever. As businesses start to turn to their IT departments and say, “We want our website to be Web 2.0,” I can only watch and laugh as the same mistakes made in the 1990s are repeated, when businesses didn’t have an IT department or a … [Read the rest »]

More Signal, Less Noise: The Power of RSS Mashups

First, an Overview of Services

Yahoo! Pipes (Beta)

A list of options on Yahoo! Pipes for creating web mashups.When Yahoo! Pipes launched, there was much buzz in the blogosphere about a new, powerful tool that let users express ultimate control over how they used their feeds. Tim O’Reilly called it “a milestone in the history of the internet”. And yet, since then, there have been few public proclamations of the power of Pipes. It’s an extremely flexible tool, one with great potential. But it suffers from two key flaws:

  1. It’s technically intimidating, too much so for a layman. It may be “drag and drop”, but remember that even the most
  2. [Read the rest »]

Building the Stonehenge of Online Business Networks

Why You Want the Stonehenge of Online Business Networks

StonehengeStonehenge is an amazing structure that was built:
a) to last.
b) to need minimal maintenance.
c) out of a few, simple parts.
d) to be a sophisticated, powerful tool for its creators.
Does that sound like what you want from your network? Then read on.

Have a Plan

The builders of stonehenge didn’t just take whatever rocks were handy and see what shapes they could make out of them. Nor did they spend all their time gathering every rock they could find. You, like they did, must determine what kind … [Read the rest »]

Contact

E-mails welcome at:
jay [.dot.] neely [@at@] socialstrategist [.dot.] com

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Projects

  • Boston Startups Guide - Directory of Boston startups sortable by location, industry, etc.
  • What To Do Boston - A collection of guides on living in Boston, and tales from my own explorations.