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28 My Road Warrior Toolbox

My friend Guy Kawasaki wrote an article recently about the tools he relies on when he goes on the road. I seem to be doing that quite a bit myself these days so I took stock of the tools that I’ve come to rely on to get work done when I travel and thought I would share them with you – got any you care to share?

Southwest AirlinesSandisk 8GB USB Drive – This is just a great back-up tool, but I also carry portable a version of my Firefox browser that contains all my data such as bookmarks. This is incredibly handy if I even just want to jump on the hotel computer.

Vitorinox Swiss Army Luggage – Pretty much love everything from Swiss Army, but love the quality of the carry on luggage and bags.

Dropbox – This online file storage service works great and is very easy to integrate into my offline storage. This allows me to grab presentation files and view them on my iPad or send them to event organizers.

iPad – This has become my RSS reader and book reader of choice, but I also use it as a lightweight email tool and browsing and bookmarking tool. Of course, it still has coolness factor too.

Persol Sunglasses – Polarized crystal lens and the saleslady said James Bond wears them

Moleskin notebooks – most of my actual work is done digitally these days, but I still think best in analog. I jot pages of notes at 40,000 feet and love filling these little paper notebooks.

Belkin Tune Talk iPod Mic
– I can record in the field interviews on this stereo mic and save the recordings as high quality WAV files on any iPod.

Mophie Juice Pack Air – Doubles the life of the iPhone battery and acts as a case too

Travel Power Strip – Create your own power center with USB chargers for that one outlet in the airport. Good way to make some BFFs for sure.

Read and Review file – This one comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. I chuck paper in this file all week and when I jump on a plane I’ve got contracts and reports and other interesting things I can finally get to.

Copies of Wired, Inc and Fast Company – I subscribe to a handful of print magazines but seem to save them for travel.

7 Chris Brogan

Marketing Podcast with Chris “Trust Agent” Brogan

Marketing podcast with Chris Brogan (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download) – subscribe now via iTunes

For this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Brogan. Chris is the President of New Marketing Labs and co-author of Trust Agents – Using the web to build, influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.

Chris really is one of the super stars of the online social media world and while he would never call himself one – he’s the ultimate trust agent.

It’s a tad ironic I think because the early days on the web were filled with untrust. Today, however, a new breed of open, authentic, and transparent communication has allowed relative unknown brands to build influence and trust and ultimately do more business than ever before imagined.

Chris Brogan is also one of the forces behind the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences and somehow I made the agenda for the Oct 7-8 session in Boston, MA, so I hope you can come by and check out this great line-up and say hi. (I’ll even be a Red Sox fan that day if need be.)

Here’s what Chris and I covered in this podcast:

  • Using the web to build trust
  • About Trust Agents
  • Translating “human business” to the web
  • Building an online community
  • Where people go wrong building an online community
  • Paid Advertising – Is it dead?

You can connect with the Trust Agents Facebook community or be sure to check out Chris’ Trust Agents contribution on Fast Company

18 My Top 10 Sources of Content Inspiration

blog inspirationI’m often talking about producing high quality, education based content as way to draw leads to know, like and trust you. So, for example, I always advise small business owners to create and populate a blog because I happen to think it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to both create and optimize content.

Some of the questions I still receive frequently however, are one like – how do know I what to write about, where do I get all those good ideas or how do I uncover trends, tools and tips that might appeal to my audience?

So, for today’s post I thought I would share the tools I use to get my brain thinking about what to write about. My favorite strategy is to mine these tools and sites for seemingly unrelated ideas. I can’t tell you how often I’ve uncovered the seed of an idea from something totally unrelated to marketing that I could twist to apply it in a totally new and relevant way.

  • Customer feedback – I love to turn customer and prospect questions into blog posts and more. You should be keeping track of those FAQs and answer every single one and some that don’t get asked as content.
  • delicious – this old school bookmarking site is still my favorite place to go and see what other folks are finding and saving.
  • Bing/xRank – I have to admit this is a new one as Bing, the Microsoft relaunched search engine is new, but for now, xRanks seems to be turning up trend faster than Google Trends
  • Blogs I subscribe to – I use Google Reader RSS reader and anytime I can I check in with some of the 100 blogs I subscribe to
  • OneRiot – another fairly new real time search engine that I use to find the links that people on twitter are discovering and retweeting
  • Keyword Phrases – Google’s free keyword search tools can give you phrases that people are actually using to find your products and services and offer some tips for what to call your blog posts
  • SmartBriefs – subscribe to a daily briefing on a variety of topics and see what some pretty smart editors are turning up
  • Business Week’s BX – Business Week’s social network allows anyone to submit content to a large group of subjects
  • Twitter follows – I follow some folks that are always finding and tweeting good stuff. By setting a select group up in TweetDeck I can always stay on top of these important tweets.
  • Magazine pile – I subscribe to Wired, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Week, and Fast Company and while I sometimes get behind on the pile, I love to go there for inspiration.

Image credit: USMarine0311

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