Snagged a Google+ invitation

If you want an invite to Google+, send me your Google account e-mail address and I’ll get you hooked up.

Or, if you’re already using Google+, feel free to add me to one of your circles:

Why am I having deja vu? This reminds me of Google Wave… a lot!

Tips for composing a better subject line.

E-mail is a communications tool vital to modern life, both for business and personal use. You use and rely on e-mail, as do millions of others around the world. Composing an e-mail can be a reflexive act, one we do without much thought for how we are trying to communicate instead of just what we’re trying to communicate. But, depending on your relationship with your intended recipient, the tone of an e-mail can be very informal or quite formal. In any case, you will want to compose a subject line for every message that is as short as possible, as long as necessary, and specific so as to summarize the entire message to follow.

Keep in mind that your message has to compete with other messages in your recipient’s inbox. One popular method of managing e-mail is known as the Inbox Zero philosophy popularized by Merlin Mann of 43 Folders. If your recipient keeps his or her inbox empty, you are in luck. As soon as a new message is received, it sits there alone waiting to be read. But if your recipient is less organized, and leaves every message ever received in their inbox, your message may easily be swamped in a list of a thousand or more messages. How do you compose a subject line that stands out in that crowd?

Here are some rules of thumb that can help you get your message read.

Keep it short. There is no practical limit to the number of characters you can place in a subject line, but some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do place limits from 40 characters to 255 characters. Remember that people scan subject lines before deciding what to read first, and based on that scan they may forward, file, or trash the message instead of reading it.

Never leave a subject line blank. A blank subject indicates you are forgetful, that you can’t be bothered to take a moment to think clearly, or that you’re too busy to give attention to important details.

Don’t use ALL CAPS or exclamation points!!!! Or if you do use them, do so sparingly. Let your message speak for itself, without using these tricks to convince your recipient that your message is more important than it really is.

Don’t put your entire message in the subject line, no matter how short your message may be. If you do this your recipients will recognize your lazy attempt at communication.

Be specific. Don’t use generic subjects such as: quick question, meeting, website, or FYI. The more specific you can be, the better. If you are contacting a vendor, include your company name at the beginning of your subject.

So the next time you are composing an e-mail message, remember to keep the subject as descriptive, as short, and as specfic as possible. You contacts will appreciate your effort.

Embarrassing Blog Posts

Obsessively Googling my name, I found these lovely nuggets.

Facebook — late to the bandwagon again
Thursday, 20 September 2007

So I set up a Facebook page. I knew you were waiting for that.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I still think services like Twitter are a solution in search of a problem, but hey, I’ll give it a try.

Follow me!

Now look at me…

Brush with Greatness: Dooce Book Signing

To Wayne, Much LoveLast night I had my first “brush with greatness” since moving to Los Angeles. And this is a story for everyone who claims noone ever made money off of Twitter.

I discovered Heather B. Hamilton (aka Dooce) several months ago while I was still living in Memphis, TN. I spotted a reference to @dooce — one of my Twitter friends had replied to her — and the name caught my eye. Curious, I hit her website and discovered and became a fan. I really enjoy her sense of humor and general outlook on life.

Earlier in the week, I saw her post that she was going to be at Book Soup in LA on April 2. So last night, we made the trek from our home in Alhambra to West Hollywood for the reading / signing.

It was a lot of fun. Heather was as funny and charming in person as I was expecting. She signed my copy of the book and I think I managed to get away without letting my star struck adolescent self make too big a fool of me.

Now think about this interaction for a moment. Heather is a writer. I found her first on Twitter. I became a fan of her work on her blog which I typically read via RSS in Google Reader. I travelled across town to a book signing at a book store I had not (yet) visited in person. And finally I purchased a book while I was there. 

I can’t say that I would have ever discovered her if I hadn’t been on Twitter at just the right moment. 

I think it is fair to say that being on Twitter was profitable for Heather. She is reaching an audience that might otherwise never find her. And since I have become a fan, I have been sharing her site with my friends (and the whole world) on my blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook, among other places.

Chalk one up for Twitter. If your business isn’t on Twitter, you’re leaving money on the table.