So I Have A New Site

I am running a test trial of this new site I made. I have my own URL and everything. Check it out!

http://www.drewhawkins.org

Let me know what you think of it!

My “Love Child” on Megan’s Birthday

Being the last long weekend for a long time, I decided to make the most of it. Megan’s birthday was this last weekend so I flew down to Cincinnati Thursday night to celebrate. It was a lot of fun! Megan and I spent almost all of Friday in Borders, went out to a nice dinner with her parents that night and had a good birthday lunch with her extended family and friends. 

Turns out the best was yet to come. Sort of. 

After all the festivities, we were winding down in front of the TV when it happened. I received a text message from a Chicago area code number that I didn’t recognize. Here is all the message contained:

This obviously raised an eyebrow or two. Megan asked who that was and her dad later on asked me “How long have you been in Chicago again?” 

I texted back asking who it was and got “Sorry wrong numba” as a reply. It was a brief situation that was somewhat comical but had a lot of potential for backfiring. Megan’s initial question (jokingly) was if I had a love child that I failed to mention to her. Of course I didn’t but it still made for a somewhat awkward few seconds. 

I’ve only been away for seven months. It’s not mine I promise.

Naptime! Rookie Thoughts On Employee Motivation

What’s a potential yet unusual way to engage employees and increase productivity that most companies haven’t tried? It’s an idea as original as the the fold up mats from your old kindergarten class.

It’s the fine art of napping.

Sleep Pod by MetroNaps

According to an older article by TIME magazine, naptime could become the new coffee break. Studies by the National Sleep Federation have shown that the average working adult gets six hours and 58 minutes of sleep, which is about an hour under the recommended amount. The increased rate in drowsiness in the office has cost businesses an estimated $100 billion in lost productivity, not to mention the added health risks that go along with sleep deprivation. Due to increased traveling and commuting and having to do business in multiple time zones, sleep has become harder and harder to come by for the average worker. Sleep Pod used in some offices around the country made by MetroNaps

 So does taking time out to snooze really help productivity? According to a NASA study it does. They proved through experiments that a 26 minute nap by their astronauts resulted in a 34% increase in productivity. Some corporations have seen the benefit of naptimes, setting up sleeping rooms or adding sleep pods to their supply of office furniture.

What’s the point? Most businesses are using naptime not really for productivity purposes but for employee retention. However, most of these companies have seen a positive trend in productivity as result. So should a naptime be considered as an employee engagement technique? If it improves productivity, loyalty and retention among your workforce, it definitely seems to meet a lot of the same goals most engagement and employee motivation programs strive for. Just a hypothetical thought.

What do you all think? While you’re responding, I’m going to roll out a mat under my desk. Be back in 30 minutes.

It’s Not the Size That Matters…It’s How You Use It…

GET 1,000 FOLLOWERS A DAY!! FREE!!

Spending most of my time up to my elbows in social media type things, I see offers like this all the time. Some company uses lines like these in hopes that people will invest in their product or a blogger uses this line to increase traffic to their posts. I would have to say that I’m somewhat guilty of that myself, since using that line is how I opened up this post.

Is bigger better though? Does it really make you more effective to have tons of followers automatically generated for you?

The biggest misconception in social media is that it’s a numbers game. To some extent it’s true, seeing how only having four followers for a company Twitter account probably won’t achieve the marketing goals set in place by that company. However, what’s the point of having all of those followers if nobody is listening or actively engaging with your message? If the size of your audience was what mattered most, the dot-com companies that ran Super Bowl commercials years back wouldn’t have tanked from wasting millions of dollars.

In regards to social media, it’s important to organically grow your audience. Chris Brogan is right when he talks about building trust. This new channel of marketing requires more than just broadcasting a message. Consumers require relationship building…an actual personofication of corporations. It takes more than saying what you have to say to thousands of followers. Social media also requires active listening and responding to be effective. This is why things such as blog commenting and retweeting has become so important in this whole process.

There’s more I could elaborate on but I’ll leave the rest of the conversation up to you. What are your thoughts? Sure size matters to a point, but is it the end game? Is there more to metrics than just a follower count (i.e. tools like Klout)?

Conan Sticks It To NBC

In a really unnecessary battle for who will take over NBC late night television, Conan O’Brien was asked to move his show back to 12:05 to accomodate Jay Leno’s new show. Standing up for the tradition of the Tonight Show, here was his response:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,

Conan

What do you all think? I love Jay Leno but I believe the future of late night in the long run will be Conan. Jay should have stepped down and retired while he was still on top and preserved his late night legacy. I think if NBC sticks with this decision, they will one day wind up regretting this.

My 2010 Resolution: Learning

New Year’s resolutions have never really been my thing. I always thought they were a waste of time. Merely empty promises people made themselves on how a new calendar year was going to re-vamp their lifestyles. This year, however, I decided I would try out this whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing myself. Can I stick with what promises I made myself?

I decided to go wild and make TWO resolutions. The first is a non-original yet necessary one: start running more. I have been talking with some old teammates of mine from WKU about doing the Chicago Marathon in October. Ever since the Sears Tower race, my training really has been pretty non-existent. However, I’ve always told myself that if I did a marathon, I was going to race it. Not just complete it. Since I have a lifelong goal of hitting between 2:45-2:50 for the race, I figured training should start now to build enough base for it. So far I’ve stuck to the goal with my very modest first week of 20 miles.

My main goal for 2010: increased emphasis on learning. To its core, this will be a fairly easy resolution to keep. After all, if I make enough mistakes throughout the course of the year (which is certainly bound to happen) I should theoretically take away some lessons from those.

I want to take this whole learning thing up a notch though. Not just learn more, but be more intentional about learning. One of my higher ups at work always emphasizes a “consumption of information.” From the first day I walked into the office, he always drills into my head on how I should basically read everything in sight. He probably has a point.

Mainly, I am going to attempt to read a whole lot more, learn more from mistakes, and take in any information about anything and everything from all sources.

Now if only I had this mentality during school, I may have had a 4.0….

Dissing David Archuleta?

If you told me when I woke up this morning that I was going to personally cause an uproar among several die-hard David Archuleta fans today, I would have laughed.

However, the story of how my day started is one you really don’t make up. Currently nominations for the Shorty Awards are taking place: awards for best tweeters in certain categories (humor, cooking, nonprofit, life, business,etc). I skimmed through the current nomination leaders and noticed that David Archuleta’s Twitter account was one of the top five nominations for many categories. Categories that were completely unrelated (i.e. Customer Service?). Seeing how Twitter and online voting has a tendency sometimes to be more of a popularity than a content contest, I posted my observation on his pending success in the awards:

“Looking at the Shorty Award leaderboard, either David Archuleta’s votes are inflated or he is the most well-rounded tweeter ever”- @drewhawkins

Just an observation I had about the current award list. In my opinion, a fairly objective one. However, I didn’t expect the firestorm to come. Obviously he has a strong Twitter fan following and a few high-spirited fans immediately went to his “defense.” Below are some of the responses I had sent my way:

@pam05: FYI David Archuleta @DavidArchie he tweets about food, exercise, family, charity & has good morals & values. Great role model.

@pam05: Have you heard him sing? He can actually sing, no auto tone needed!

It was good to learn why he may be popular. I appreciated the positive reinforcement. Then it got interesting.

@maxie2g0: what the…it’s obvious u know nothing about @DavidArchie. He just happens to have a fan base that luvs him as a whole

@maxie2g0: and shows it. I assure u only a portion of his base is reg. here so even voting in the #Shorty’s. What’s wrong with you?

Trying to put out a potentially absurd fire, I re-instated that I wasn’t dissing Mr. Archuleta personally or his craft. I have nothing against the guy at all, no reason for disrespect. Just making a casual observation about a contest. This somewhat resolved things…sorta.

@maxie2g0: if no dissing of David was meant then we’ll accept ur word. We don’t lie to David about our feelings regarding him or his work.

Fortunately, there was another normal Archuleta fan that came to my defense!

@andreaonFOD I can assure you what you said about David was not out of line. Sorry for some of those comments to u from DA fans.

Thanks @andreaonFOD for the positive reinforcement. Also thanks for thanking my mom for voting for him on American Idol. Thanks to @pam05 for keeping a positive spin on her defenses. Finally, thanks to @maxie2g0 for making my day that much more entertaining.

Weird how fast the internet carries information right? This is a good example of how fast information can get around, even if you have no real intent. There were several other responses but these were a few. With this loyal of a fan base, I reckon he’s doing something right.