Out of a corner: “Learning a lot”

Jim Fixx's Second Book of Running
Getting out of a corner
I used to be a runner. I don’t run anymore, but I still walk, because I’m a lot heavier now than I was when I was 20. I’ve still got good, pain-free knees, and I’d like to try to keep them that way. But one part of my methodology seems to be the same now as it was then: whenever I wanted to learn how to do something, I bought a book about it.

That’s how it worked when I started running. I wanted to know “the right way” to do things.

Back then, there was a “Complete Book of Running”, by a writer named Jim Fixx. As the graphic nearby shows, Fixx then went on to write a “Second Book of Running”. Here’s the problem, though, as he stated it. If you’re going to write a “complete book” of something, there ought not to be a need for a “second book”. Thus, his foreword carried the title “Out of a Corner”.

He needed to explain the need for this second book in the light of his first. That’s how it worked then, and that’s how it works now. I need to explain my way out of a corner.

One of the first things I did, upon entering the ranks of the “available” (in a business sense), was to start a blog, “Learning Eloqua”. After all, that’s what I do. In another part of my world, I’m a team-member of a highly-regarded and widely-read theology blog, Triablogue. I’m accustomed to waking up at 3:00 AM and pumping out a fully-developed, well-thought-out blog article by 4:30 AM.

But in the process of “Learning Eloqua”, I stumbled upon (can’t get away from it) a lot of other things that I needed to learn. I stumbled upon Twitter, and through Twitter, I have been tripping over things left and right.

One of my deepest sorrows (in a business sense) is that, by the time I figured out that I needed an Eloqua certification, I was no longer in a position to get one. So it was to my great joy that a similar kind of certification, a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification was available for free through Hubspot’s website. (HT: Brenda Stoltz at Ariad Partners).

Now, in this case, “free” doesn’t mean “cheap”. There are nine hour-long video lessons, and a 50-question test (which I have not yet attempted) in order to become certified.

So far, I’ve been able to bring myself up-to-date with web (keyword) optimization, blogging (in a business sense), and as I write this, “social media”. On tap are “content with a purpose”, “the anatomy of a landing page”, “the conversion process”, “closing” and “cultivating delighted customers”.

Looking at Eloqua’s Topliners community, I can still see that there are many gaps in what I (and apparently many others) still need to know. But I’m nudging things forward.

The bottom line is, I’m still “Learning Eloqua”, and I still hope to work with that blog. Lord willing, I’ll have an opportunity to work for an Eloqua-using company, on an Eloqua-using team. But if not, wherever I go will find me “learning a lot”, in a mode of continuous improvement.

Back when I was learning to run, there were a couple of “running” songs that would go through my mind. “Running on Empty” and “Running Against the Wind”. Sometimes it still seems like that. Some things don’t change.

Keep on moving forward, in spite of the obstacles.

Twitter and me

Twitter LogoIf you follow me on any of the “social media”, you’ve likely seen a lot from me, in the form of re-tweets and six-second Vine videos.

A couple of articles inspired me:

The New Résumé: It’s 140 Characters
Subhead: Some Recruiters, Job Seekers Turn to Twitter, but Format Is a Challenge; Six-Second Video Goes Viral

How to Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job
Subhead: Three Out of Four People are in Constant Job-Search Mode and, Increasingly, Twitter is Their Tool of Choice. Here’s How to Make 140 Characters Work for You.

Here’s my 140 character résumé, give or take:

@johnbugay: Email marketing, marketing automation, Eloqua user. Marketing manager, copywriter, content, data analysis, segmentation.

Forming thoughts in my head on a thing I’ll call “Vignettiquette”

Recently I started using both Twitter and an iPhone-based app called “Vine”. Vine enables you to make six-second videos that simply loop when you post them to Vine or Twitter or Facebook. I don’t think all the bugs are worked out of it yet.

I’ve been able to do some pretty cool things though. There’s a “media library” at my Twitter page, @johnbugay. You should be able to find all of my Vine videos there.

Inventive folks have created such words as “netiquette” and “Twittiquette” regarding laws on how to behave. I’m not sure if there’s a thing yet called “Vignettiquette” (for the purists, I suppose it could end up being “vinetiquette”, and while it retains the long “i” from “vine”, it’s a clunky word and it seems less sophisticated (even if it is fewer characters, in the spirit of Twitter).

The basics of virtually any video type of service has been summed up nicely by the Wall Street Journal here: http://on.wsj.com/128kgQP:

Let’s not incite lawmakers or angry mobs. Stick to photographing kittens, consenting friends and those totally amazing pancakes from your favorite brunch spot, OK?

If you do something wrong, you can expect to get a bit of a warning:

Have fun, and let your conscience be your guide!

@johnbugay