Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Enhancing Marketing & Customer Interaction at Trade Shows
Powered by Smart Phone Technology & Social Media Tools

As a Marketing Manager at ProQuest, I get to help librarians and users (library patrons/school teachers and students) find information to power successful research and, ultimately, learning.

Sometimes the end result of using the website materials I create leads a student to information that helps them get a better grade. Sometimes they assist a grad student in uncovering new avenues of research around a thesis topic. Other times, they help patent lawyers nail down the critical parts of a business deal/tech design to make a new product or drug and get it to market before the competition.

Whatever the outcome, my passionate support of ProQuest's amazing research tools and services makes a difference. That alone propels me to work harder to discover fresh ways to support our users online and off.

In recent years, my daily work has gradually morphed into both web support and social media outreach for all of our markets, growing well beyond just K-12 schools. (Hint: It's too much fun, too rewarding, to be work!)

Our Twitter channel, FaceBook pages, accounts on FourSquare and Gowalla, and use of TweetPhoto and Qik video have all made a big impact on our marketing. Most recently, I've worked with our trade show team to increase interactivity with customers during our trade shows.

As a conference attendee (or booth stand rep) at some point in your career, I'm guessing you've experienced what I have -- you're walking the show floor, and every booth is populated with hungry sales people trying to rope you in.

All well and good. Today, though, conference attendees have Internet-connected smart phones, laptops, and netbooks close at hand. They post real-time messages to colleagues about what they’re learning, seeing, and hearing. For the past few years, these messages were confined primarily to comments about airline flights, food, hotel problems, and issues with the show staff.

Woven through the noise are quick quotes borrowed from session speakers and keynotes, occasional links to PowerPoint decks, and other session materials. Still others mention products and companies by name, informing the virtual world about new product releases, new functionality, and more. Slowly but surely, these online communications have morphed into critical channels of interaction and info sharing.

In recent months, companies like ProQuest have begin to make leverage the social aspects of these technology tools, engaging with customers at trade shows and live events using:

Real-Time Media & Message Sharing Tools

Online Messaging (#sla10 and #ala10)
Twitter (SLA and our ALA 2010 tweet stream)

Quick Response (QR) Codes

Check-in Notification Services
FourSquare & Gowalla (at ALA)

Video: Share from Booth in Real-Time (then Tweet)
Qik Video (ALA new platform and toast)

Photos: Share via Tweets
TweetPhoto (ALA tied to Tweets)

I used all of these tools at our recent SLA and ALA trade show appearances, to increase brand awareness, share resources and tips to boost usage of our products, invite users to sign up for free online training, find our booth stands at events around the world, and more.

Click each service name above to see our efforts in each space for each show. And keep this in mind -- DROID phones (what I use, cheaper than) iPhones both offer the apps and tools you need to set up and post to these services for no cost at all. Talk about low-cost effective marketing to savvy customers!

To see all of these smart phone tools for spreading the word at trade shows and live events, click here.

As for QR codes, these little gems span online and print.

These blocky codes are “scanned” by your cell phone camera and instantly connect the user to online media (videos), web pages, and more. ScanLife is a free program (application) that makes trackable QR codes possible in our trade show booth, making it easy for savvy customers to interact with each of our kiosks using their phone, and get more information via a webpage, PDF file, email signup link, and more.

The many QR codes in the booth area helped customers get our newest PDF catalog/sheets, and even watch our new ProQuest platform launch video on YouTube.

Some photos of our booth/activites... enjoy!

On the last day of the show, PRNewswire gave us a few minutes in Time Square to announce our new platform! Here's the release this photo refers to...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Portal 2

Excited for this -- humor and good writing still in tact. Steam, love ya...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The All-New ProQuest Research Database Platform: Coming Soon

You paved the way for the rollout of the all-new ProQuest platform. We worked with information professionals and end users to build the new platform from the ground up--incorporating the best of what you love with new, exciting features and functionality found in many of our unparalleled resources, plus more.

Click here to see how the new platform will offer a better way to search, find, and use information.

Databases in the initial release of the new platform will include:

All of the exceptional resources currently on the ProQuest and Illumina platforms

Select Chadwyck-Healey resources such as:

British Periodicals
International Index to Music Periodicals
International Index to the Performing Arts
(PRISMA) Publicaciones y Revistas Sociles y Humanisticas

Later platform releases will include additional databases from ProQuest. Over the coming months, current ProQuest customers will receive individual notification regarding accessing the new platform.

The Right Tools. At the Right Time. At the Right Place.

New cross-search capabilities across your ProQuest resources including innovative, customizable subject-based views bringing context to content for your users.

Personalized account settings for users to tailor their searching and empowering them to gather and share their research findings with alerts, RSS feeds, improved citation tools and even capabilities to share their results with other ProQuest users.

Discover the wealth of content formats across ProQuest databases--including key historical and current full-image journals, periodicals, news sources, dissertations, reports, books, multimedia, and more.*

Pinpoint critical, full-image data within tables and figures that is not revealed with most other search engines.

Harness the power of the new search engine to surface more relevant results with fewer clicks.

* Dependent on your specific subscriptions from ProQuest.

Making Your World Easier

One of the many great benefits of the new platform is that we now offer a single administration system for library staff to run enhanced usage reports across all products, control preference settings, and many more great features.

Click here to find out more.

P90X Back and Biceps (Mon.) + Plyo (Tues.) | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Solid lifting day, with pull ups, biceps pumped with 30 pound free weights, and a flight of lawnmowers with the single 50 pounder. Yikes. All good.

Catch-up Monday post-SLA here, now that the videos and other items are complete from the show. Off to ALA on Thursday -- can't wait! Lots of amazing @ProQuest announcements coming. Join us!

Friday, June 18, 2010

P90X Chest & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

A little reboot after SLA, pretending Friday is Monday, and working the weekly plan for a standard P90X week through next Thursday. Will leave super-early a.m. to catch a flight to Washington, D.C. and the ALA Conference and our ProQuest booth. (Full details.)

Lots of Tweets, social media, QR codes, and other booth-interactivity to occur there, just like SLA. Exciting times!

In other news, NSFW, Hitler is a little ticked off about the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. No, really, watch...

Visuals of BP oil spill, using Unreal physics engine. Neat. Click above to watch.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

SLA 2010 | Special Libraries Association
New Orleans, LA
@ProQuest @DialogLLC#sla2010 and #ala10 next week...

ProQuest, my employer, offers a wide array of services and information resources for libraries of all kinds. K-12 schools? Covered at the website I maintain: Colleges, higher education, public libraries? covers all of the information databases you can tap into from ProQuest.

In the past few very short years, we've also picked up Serials Solutions, (the new Summon service), Dialog, RefWorks-COS, CSA, and more.

These players serve niche information and tools for serious, deep research at special libraries, colleges, Fortune 1000 companies (from financial giants to scientific research firms and on and on.) Some of these brands even offer social websites for grad students and scientific researchers to rub elbows, just like Facebook, only for real work. (Hint, hint.)

This is where my personal knowledge of what we do fell short -- until coming to SLA this week in New Orleans.

I've come to realize just how amazingly deep the bench has become, ably led by Marty Kahn, our CEO. Under one corporate umbrella, ProQuest now touches every aspect of every type of library.

Need to provide a central research tool that links to your catalog, the open Web, other specialized information collections local to your site, plus (of course) your subscription electronic services from CSA, Dialog, ProQuest, Gale, EBSCO... and so forth? Or just one small part of this full equation?

Only ProQuest has you covered.

And in the next two years, every library will hear about and be able to access our new ProQuest (details) and Dialog (details) research platforms. Two leaps to the present and the future that have been years in the making.

ProQuest is poised to become a power house for serious research and serious libraries and institutions of business and learning, globally.

I've never been more excited to be part of this amazing, forward-looking company, and there's mountains of work ahead. I relish the opportunities to meet our customers needs everywhere -- from the iPad to the PC to the command line.

Bring it on, and stay tuned as the evolution continues. It will be televised -- online.

One of the biggest revelations -- the hairs on the back of neck stand up everytime I think about this -- ProQuest is powering the future of libraries and information professionals with the people, technologies, and companies that gave birth to the information age.

Hyperbole? You decide.

The first database anywhere was created by Dialog (which itself was created to meet a need of NASA) spawned by the Space Race and Apollo missions to the Moon. Data coming out of its ears, it tapped Dialog to organize it. While working on this database (which is still online/available today) they rolled out a smaller cousin using the technology -- ERIC, the Education Resources Information Clearinghouse.

Initially searched by dumb terminals linked to mainframes, serious researchers still depend upon Dialog's feature-rich command line interface (think DOS) to search deeply to uncover unique links and new product innovations that can be realized by getting to information and the threads that combine it in unique ways to speed development of new products and services before anyone else.

In 1993, back to Dialog's early history, ERIC was one of the very first "sites" I visited on the "Internet" -- using a tool called Gopher. Think of Gopher (and Veronica and Archie) as precursors to the Web, organizing data into folders, which you could drill through to get to content via your computer hooked to a modem, at 300 or 1200 baud. (Think I still have my acoustic coupler here somewhere...)

ERIC, the service itself, was one of the first most early K-12 school adopters of the Internet accessed back in 1993-1994. And it was one of the sites we reviewed and linked teachers/librarians to via Classroom Connect, the company I helped start with Gregory Giagnocavo and Tim Wentworth at Wentworth Worldwide Media in Lancaster, PA. (Consider my mind BLOWN folks, right there.)

So, Dialog = Space Race/NASA innovation. Our tax dollars and new technology combining to form the first databases, in collaboration.

Next, ProQuest. Started as UMI/University Microfilms in the 1930's by Eugene Powers. His mission? Turn university dissertations into microfilm using special machines. When WWII broke out, he sent one of these machines to Britain to turn as many books as possible into microfilm before the Nazi's destroyed them.

So, ProQuest = WWII/government assistance innovation. (Timeline)

And of course, the Internet itself. Fostered as a Cold War/government research network, able to adapt to nuclear attack by not breaking down if large portions were destroyed.

Leading us to today, where the world is linked by this global information network. This super highway, even. Fueled by our darkest hours, to work around the most evil among us, to harness and catalog the power of our minds and the American grit and unique scientific knowledge needed to put humans on our nearest celestial neighbor.

All under one roof, under one name -- ProQuest.

Get it? Excited? For sure.

But first, my first-ever SLA conference, where Dialog is king. Where business, scientific, and other librarians meet to find out how best to serve serious researchers using information to power new breakthroughs (think drug research), products (Apple combining existing technologies to make the iPad and iPhone), and investments (patent databases).

In New Orleans. Enjoy the photos...

Friday, June 11, 2010

P90X Legs & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Friday craziness kicks off with Tony's solid leg and back routine. Lots of pull-ups, followed by crazy leg work. Wall squats, anyone? Single-leg, even? So good. One of my favorite workouts for sure, and always enjoy feeling the legs recover all weekend long from this monster.

Off to SLA (Special Libraries Association) show in New Orleans tomorrow. Pictures and info coming soon! Time to put our ProQuest social media, QR codes, etc. into practice with our customers. Passionate about this!

Tony Horton (Mr. P90X): Why can't most people get and stay fit in America? Watch this video and find out. (Spoiler: Because our reasons for working out aren't good!) Workouts/Eating Right = Change in brain chemistry and the hippocampus, which changes how we look at the world!

And now a few worlds from Steve Edward's Blog, he's another Beachbody (P90X company) expert:

My friend Ben, a firefighter, says guys at the station are always asking him if P90X really works. He usually just shakes his head, in amazement, and replies with something banal like “its diet and exercise, of course it works!”

I guess people are trained by their television to think everything is a magic pill that’s probably nothing but snake oil. And, certainly, the infomercial world that’s been dominated by Thighmasters and psychic friends has done its part in perpetuating that myth. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: diet and exercise, assuming you’re following sound advice, always works.

Ben isn’t your average fireman. He studied pre-med, climbs, trains in jui jitsu, and spends so much time doing off-the-beaten track activities that the guys at the station call him “the most interesting man in the world.” But that doesn’t mean his baffled demeanor comes from an Ivy League intellectual stance. When he was a kid basic health education was taught in school and, apparently, he was one of the few people who listened. Therefore he wasn’t nearly as surprised as most people are when I told him that all of our programs work. And each program works just as well as the next. That’s right, the test group for P90X and Insanity had pretty much the same stats as those from Rev Abs and 10 Minute Trainer.

This doesn’t mean the P90X isn’t more intricate than Project You or Slim in 6. It’s just targeted towards a different audience (one that requires more subtlety). Every Beachbody program, from Hip Hop Abs to Turbo Fire follows the same principle: diet and exercise targeted toward a specific group of people. And when you get that specific group to train hard and eat to support the exercise they are doing you get results.

It’s a 100% fact. There’s no big trade secret, no miracle supplement or style of training; its simple human (animal, actually) physiology. Train hard and eat well and you’ll be as fit looking as a lion (or shark, gazelle, eagle, marlin, marmot…). The only things in the animal kingdom that don’t look like fitness models are domesticated animals, whom we’ve also deprived of their simple life lessons from Health Ed 101. In fact, I guarantee you that when P90X canine comes out it will work every bit as well as Yoga Booty Kitty or Brazilian Body Gospel For Birds.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mountain Bike Ride (ATT) | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Ahhh... what a week. Maxing the workouts, beautiful day ahead to swap in a lunchtime bike ride on the ol' American Tobacco Trail. Bringing it!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pre-Internet Research: Cartoon

P90X Shoulders and Arms | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Yes, Tony, the glamor muscles... Shoulders, biceps, triceps. All made yummy with my set of 30 and 20 pound free weights, and the ol' dining room chair for tricep extensions. Used the 30's for most of the moves -- grunt, groan! -- and maxed the form and intensity. Brought it. DONE.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

P90X Plyometrics | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Cardio Tuesday whilst doing P90X = Plyometrics. Jump training. Up, down, side to side, all around... New Sweat City. All burn goodness. Really took all my energy to stick with it; solid breakfast ahead.

Enjoy your Tuesday's people!

Monday, June 07, 2010

P90X Chest & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Monday + P90X = Chest & Back -- on the Classic routine, anyway. Solid push ups, pull ups, back flys, the works. Good thing, since my legs are still a bit sore from the full Friday Legs & Back routine!

Rock your week, people!

WikiLeaks Iraq Video (click above) shows horrors of collateral murder and the military's cavalier attitude toward human lives. NSFW. Whistleblower is an American hero.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Get Fit in 5 Weeks with Tony Horton

Food is health. Exercise is fitness. Click 1 and listen up!
Shakeology 30 Minute | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Saturday sleep in was awesome. Sunday = catch up. Legs still sore from the Friday P90X Legs and Back goodness, so some basic cardio/full body is always on tap for one weekend day for Day 6 of 7.

Love the 30 minute workout DVD that comes with your first bag of Shakeology (get yours) -- it's short, full-body, and just hard enough to make you sweat and burn a few hundred calories. Great basic cardio/weekend workout.

Off to our Cub Scout Spring (more like Summer @ 94 degrees!) picnic this afternoon. Pool first @ Lila Jones in Apex? Yep.

Friday, June 04, 2010

P90X Legs & Back | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

Guys, we have strong legs. It's a fact. So this workout maxes those amazing leg muscles in awesome ways. From simple squats to leg lifts, wall squats, and beyond, you will be wobbly and strangely euphoric when this 50+ minutes come to an end.

Add to that 100-125 pull-ups, give or take, and you have the recipe for a great start to your Friday.

Hope your week was as good as mine, and that Summer has some fun and surprises in store for you.

My final summer of my 30's is looking fab!

Jedi Grant could've used P90X Legs & Back before battling the Empire.
For sure.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

P90X Yoga X | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

OOommm.... Oommmmm.... So good.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

P90X Shoulders & Arms + Abs | Workout
Fitness Blueprint | P90X Round 9 (Get P90X or start with Power 90)
Personal | Weight: 196 (Shakeology Snack Added)

June is here. Summer is in full swing. It's time to get serious, re-focus, get my sleep schedule back on track, and max every workout.

I've been slacking. My crazy workout last Saturday with FaceBook buddy and Exeter High School grad Meredith at Corps Fitness in Reading (PA) showed me that much. Mere, thanks for the invite.

I knew I was in for something special when I arrived at the warehouse-like location. Many home made stations, some with ropes to the ceiling, some with truck tires taller than my son on their sides, and enough 8 foot high pull-up stations to let 8-12 serious folks get in serious shape.

After an hour of being put with an elite group and getting the hairy eyeball a few times -- suck it up NEWBIE! COME ON! -- I knew this was going to be a workout to remember. Honestly, if your instructor is a former (or always a) military man (bio) who, despite being in a wheelchair, is 2 X more in shape and ripped than anyone else in the room, prepare for an incredible workout with no limits.

As he posted: "Viewing my disability as my stepping stone and not my crutch will hopefully redefine the way others view the challenges they face. Dig deep and you can accomplish anything." WORD UP.

Here it is, four days later, and my hips/abs are still feeling the effects of his masterful torture. Stuff beyond P90X. Beyond Insanity. And right in Reading. I'll be BACK.

Back home from PA/Memorial Day visit, I'm back in the saddle, and ready to shake off the BS I've been feeding myself for the past few weeks.

Come September 1, you will see a newly ripped Tim. I guarantee it. With yet another solid P90X round with good food coming in. Daily. Measured.

Ready to try P90X? Get healthy? Join Tony Horton and I...

This is the week you and I will start working together to get you into shape. (Even people who think disease or obesity has them beaten (not!) can turn things around with my workouts!) I can be your BeackBody (P90X, Power 90, etc.) coach, help you via email/online, and get you started on the right foot. First, sign up here to get me as your free coach. Next, click SHOP here to get your copy of Power 90 (beginners) or P90X (intermediate) or Insanity (advanced interval training). (NBA stars, singers like Cheryl Crow and Pink, and folks like you and I are doing it! Here's Tony Horton talking about P90X.) Bolster your food plan by tracking your calories with (guys, 2,500 cals a day, gals 1,800), and consider drinking a Shakeology shake in place of lunch -- it's like going to the salad bar with five plates. If you're already a P90X user, take the next step and be a coach with my help. Keep pushing play, bring it, A+ P90X review!