Vegan Pancakes – #TASTY experiment

20111106174240718 I am participating in a TASTY experiment – sharing one recipe with random people via that old social network, email. It was started by one of the original Age of Conversation participants – Bob Glaza – and guarantees me 36 new recipes in my inbox just in time for Christmas.

My recipe – Vegan Pancakes

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
(Note: 1 cup = 8 ounces)

1. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl
2. Stir in soy milk a little at a time so that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy
3. The mix should be slightly runny
4. Add the olive oil and then place the bowl into the refrigerator for 20 minutes
5. Before cooking, make sure the mixture hasn’t over thickened. Just add a little more soy milk if necessary
6. Cook quickly over a fairly high heat
7. Stack multiple pancakes on a plate in the oven (just keeping them warm)
8. Serve with your favourite toppings

I love these type of activities. They are simple, easy to join, and expose you to ideas and people from the networks of your friends. And these are often the most powerful connections within a network – they are the strength in social media’s weak ties.

If you’d like to participate, here are Bob’s instructions.

We are participating in a collective, TASTY experiment. As such, you have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange. We hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun.

1. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know him/her). It should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. The best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. One you make when you are short of time.

2. After you’ve sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy).

If you cannot do this within 5 days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do it once.

I’d add one more thing to these instructions. If you have a blog or a Tumblr or even a Facebook account, share your recipe and put #TASTY in the title so that it can be tracked.


The Wrath of Angry Birds

According to Gizmowatch, it seems that Angry Birds really did change the world – “if we rewind the total Angry Bird playtime, we will go back to the time when humans evolved”. That’s 200,000 years of game time. Seems the birds won.


Space Invaders to Angry Birds: Social Selling and the Transition from Open Networks to Closed Communities

I recently spoke at the Social Media Plus conference in Philadelphia. My topic was “social selling” – but rather than just taking a simple route and providing a case study, I thought it would be more interesting to try something different. I wanted to tell the story of my work with SAP’s Premier Customer Network – an unfolding story of our efforts to become a “social business”. But how best to do so? What would resonate?

My colleague, Anand Ramachandran had recently created a presentation using Angry Birds as a metaphor – and on reviewing this, I knew I had a hook. If social media/social business is a “game changer”, then clearly that game is Angry Birds. And the deeper I looked, the more I found.

Here is the presentation – together with a speaking track to fill in the gaps. It looks at what it takes to move from the business simplicity characterised by games like Space Invaders to a complex multi-stakeholder sales process – which is closer to Angry Birds. Along the way I discuss sales process, people enablement and the benefits of connecting open networks with closed communities.

Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia

We Are Social Singapore are showing impeccable timing in releasing their Guide to Social Digital and Mobile in Asia – especially as I will be focusing more closely on the Asia Pacific and Japan region through 2012.

There are some fascinating statistics dotted throughout – but the most powerful aspect is the sheer scale of social media adoption that has already taken place across Asia. Just think – there are 750,000,000 social media users across Asia. And that accounts for over half of the population in Brunei, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

But if you are thinking social media in Asia – don’t think Facebook. It ranks a lowly fourth with 172 million members. That’s way behind Qzone with 536 million, Tencent with 310 million and Sina Weibo weighing in at 250 million.

And social is only part of the story. The clincher is mobile – with three quarters of the population (or almost 2.8 billion people) registered as mobile subscribers. Over one in five of these have access to the internet via their mobile phone – that’s 623 million people who use their phones to access online services.

But enough with the powerful, mind blowing statistics. Spend some time with the data in the report – but when doing so, think about behaviour. What is taking place with your customers in Asian markets? How does their usage, interest and even the limitations of mobile internet services impact the way you can engage them? What are the opportunities? And what shifts that lay ahead in 2012 can you use to surprise and delight your customers (and confound your competitors)?

Feeling Sick and Tired?

I don’t know about you – but 2011 has been a stretch. Exciting, challenging – even a little fun – but still a stretch. A lot has been accomplished, but we’re still a month out from the end of the year.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at this time of year – to be able to see that the end is in sight, but the finish line is beyond our grasp. And this can add to the year-end desperation – and in some cases, even lead to depression (if you feel this way, you may just need The Perfect Gift for a Man). One way to combat this is to take a quick look in the rear vision mirror and just assess your personal and professional achievements. There will be many things to be proud of – some small and some more significant. These all count and should be given their due.

So what are you most proud of? What worked? When I look back on the last year or so, I can see some significant personal and professional achievements:

  • I spoke on digital and social media strategy at the GE Leadership Workshop – a challenging and intense hour or so with GE’s emerging global leaders
  • The focus on public speaking continued through the year – and I found myself in front of large and small audiences at a range of Australian and international events, including the Macquarie Graduate School of Management’s Open Innovation Series, Australasian Sourcing Summit, Marketing Week, ADMA Forum, and Social Media Plus
  • I contributed a chapter to a book (in German) on the work that I have been doing with SAP’s Premier Customer Network. Social Intranet: Kommunikation fördern – Wissen teilen – Effizient zusammenarbeiten is available on Amazon – and it was nice to write rather edit and publish for a change!
  • My team and I launched, iterated, redesigned and began promoting PCN Connect – the closed community platform that connects SAP’s most strategic global customers. And now we’re continuing to roll it out beyond North America
  • My work, as President of Vibewire – a youth focused non-profit dedicated to ensuring young people participate in the important conversations of our time – continues to yield fruit. This year we made significant progress on the governance and capacity building fronts, held 10 live fastBREAK events featuring over 50 of Australia’s emerging innovators at the Powerhouse Museum, produced a book of creative works for and by the Vibewire community and provided over 20,000 hours of experience for young people starting their professional and creative careers
  • Coffeemornings – the regular Friday get together in Sydney for anyone and everyone keen to discuss ideas, culture, society with a bit of marketing and technology thrown into the mix – has now been going continuously for six years. Quite a milestone!
  • My fitness continued to improve, peaking in October, when I cycled over 330km in the month – burning over 8200 calories. I still have some way to go to “feel fit”, but there have been definite improvements

There have been plenty of other highlights – spending time with friends and family, travelling and learning new things, meeting new people and so on. In many ways I have been amazingly fortunate – and the hard work seems to be paying off. But I am looking forward to a break over Christmas and New Year.

What about you? Still ramping up towards year end? Has it been a break or breakthrough year for you?