Carnival Roundup: Launch Edition

This week, I’ve launched a new site.  It’s The Money Makers: A Financial Education From the World’s Elite.   This is where we get to learn from the rich and famous.  Unfortunately, that usually means we’re learning by their bad examples.  Take a look.

Live Real, Now was included in the following carnivals recently:

Yakezie Carnival hosted by Financially Digital

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Nickel by Nickel

Yakezie Carnival hosted by The Ultimate Juggle

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Financial Conflict Coach

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #77 hosted by Free at 33

Carnival of Retirement #66 hosted by Dividend Monk

Carnival of Financial Independence #6 hosted by Reach Financial Independence

Yakezie Carnival hosted by Young & Thrifty

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Family Money Values

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #75 hosted by My Personal Finance Journey

Carnival of Financial Independence #4 hosted by Reach Financial Independence

Thanks for including my posts.

Get More Out of Live Real, Now

There are so many ways you can read and interact with this site.

You can subscribe by RSS and get the posts in your favorite news reader.  I prefer Google Reader.

You can subscribe by email and get, not only the posts delivered to your inbox, but occasional giveaways and tidbits not available elsewhere.

You can ‘Like’ LRN on Facebook.   Facebook gets more use than Google.  It can’t hurt to see what you want where you want.

You can follow LRN on Twitter.   This comes with some nearly-instant interaction.

You can send me an email, telling me what you liked, what you didn’t like, or what you’d like to see more(or less) of.   I promise to reply to any email that isn’t purely spam.

Have a great weekend!

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Make Money Blogging and a Carnival Roundup

How I Make Money BloggingAs I mentioned last month, my friend Crystal has launched a book about making money blogging.  This is the book where the biggest blogger ad rep out there shares her price list.  That alone is worth the price of admission.  The rest of the book is gravy and includes things like setting up a blog, disclosures, and connecting with other bloggers.

Because she rocks, she’s offering a $10 coupon.  Use code “thankyou10”.

Because I also rock, I’m offering a bonus.

If you buy the book through my link during the month of August, I’ll hold a webinar showing you exactly how to set up a blog.   It will be a thorough walkthrough of everything you need to get started.   I’ll use one of you as the demo model, so the lucky one will get their site set up for them on the webinar*.

I will show you how to easily get started.

You won’t find a better offer out there.   Get the book.  Get started.

* This does not include graphic design, because that’s not my talent.  It’s also not going to include custom programming.

Live Real, Now was included in the following carnivals recently:

Yakezie Carnival hosted by Tackling Our Debt

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Portfolio Princess

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #40 hosted by My University Money

Carnival of Retirement #27 hosted by Good Financial Sense

Yakezie Carnival: TUJ Summer Heat Edition hosted by The Ultimate Juggle

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by My Family Finances

Yakezie Carnival  hosted by Passive Income to Retire

Festival of Frugality #346 hosted by One Smart Dollar

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by 101 Centavos

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #42 hosted by Modest Money

Yakezie Carnival hosted by Kylie Ofiu

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Making Sense of Cents

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #43 hosted by My University Money

Lifestyle Carnival #13 hosted by Mom’s Plans

Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Finance Product Reviews

Carnival of Retirement #31 hosted by Debt Black Hole

Thanks for including my posts.

Get More Out of Live Real, Now

There are so many ways you can read and interact with this site.

You can subscribe by RSS and get the posts in your favorite news reader.  I prefer Google Reader.

You can subscribe by email and get, not only the posts delivered to your inbox, but occasional giveaways and tidbits not available elsewhere.

You can ‘Like’ LRN on Facebook.   Facebook gets more use than Google.  It can’t hurt to see what you want where you want.

You can follow LRN on Twitter.   This comes with some nearly-instant interaction.

You can send me an email, telling me what you liked, what you didn’t like, or what you’d like to see more(or less) of.   I promise to reply to any email that isn’t purely spam.

Have a great weekend!

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I just turned 2!

Update:  Over $500 in prizes!

Yesterday was my second anniversary here.   For the last two years, I have shared my thoughts, feelings, and finances three times a week and you have been there to watch and share as I figure out my financial future.

I appreciate it.

To show my appreciation, I’m giving stuff away.

Here are the prizes:

1 $100 prize

1 $75 prize

6 $25 prizes, courtesy of ThirtySixMonths, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Maximizing Money, Personal Finance Whiz, and Broke Professionals.

1 iPod Shuffle courtesy of Prairie Eco-Thrifter.

1 $25 Amazon gift card courtesy of Beating Broke.

A copy of each of the iPhone and iPad versions of the Pay Off Debt app from The Debt Myth

1 $20 Amazon gift card, courtesy of Money Crush.

1 $25 Starbuck’s gift card, courtesy of Mom’s Plans.

I’m also giving away some books, some of which have been lightly read.

Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey

Never Pay Retail by Sid Kirchheimer

Delivering Happiness (advanced reader copy) by Tony Hsieh

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

CreditCards.com Book of Cartoons

Women & Money by Suze Orman

To enter:

Follow the instuctions in the widget below.   Following me on Facebook, Twitter, RSS, or email will all earn entries.  Following any of the sponsors on Twitter of Facebook will earn you entries.   Tweeting about the giveaway as often as you like or linking to this page on your site will earn you entries.

There are lots of ways to enter and 16 prizes to win.

The drawing will be held on December 23rd, just in time to give you some cash before Christmas.

Good luck!

[Continue Reading…]

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Book Review: Social Nation

I recently had an opportunity to read Social Nation: How to harness the power of Social Media to attract customers, motivate employees & grow your business by Barry Libert.  Heckuva title.

Libert is the the CEO at Mzinga, which is a company that connects other companies–and their customers–using social media to collaborate and communicate.  Social media is, quite simply, using the internet to drive interactive communication.  This includes Twitter, Facebook, and forums.  Sometimes, it’s just discussion, sometimes, it’s sharing user-generated content.

Social Nation “will show you, as an employee, customer or partner, how to use new social technologies, make yourself heard, and produce better products and services.”   It bills itself as a “complete toolbox” for social media.   Does it match the hype? Let’s see.

The book is broken into three sections.

Part 1: The Future of Business is Social

Libert asserts that the future of business is social.   That is obviously true, to a degree. A solid viral marketing campaign can drive more eyeball to a product than a full-page spread in the New York Time or a 30-second spot during Super Bowl halftime.  However, there are a lot–possibly a majority–of business-to-business companies that will gain no value from a social media campaign.   Would a regional supplier with an exclusive distributorship for a top-name line of faucets benefit from being on Twitter?  No.  On the other hand, 17% of our time online is spent on social applications and the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 35 years old or older.  There is certainly some value to be gained by have a social media presence in some markets.

This section(all of chapter 3!) also contains a link to a test to determine your social media skills.   I haven’t taken the test, mainly because I don’t feel like registering for another site.  This struck me as nothing more than lead generation, which is a shame.  It could be a useful tool.

Part 2: Seven Principles for Building Your Social Nation

This section has seven chapters, containing 7 case studies that detail the 7 principle of social media, as defined by Libert and Mzinga.

The principles include:

  • Let the culture lead the way, as demonstrated by Zappos.com.
  • Involve your fans.  The big takeaway from chapter 8 is that, when you create a community, your job is to facilitate involvement, not to control it.  If you try to run it with an iron fist, it will choke and die.
  • Reward others and you will be rewarded. Apple lets developers keep 70% of the money they make in the app store.  That encourages developers to develop, making everyone more money.   Give.  Karma will take care of the rest.
  • There are 4 other principles, but some are just common sense, and I don’t want to give away the contents of the book.

Part 3: Start Today and Create Your Own Social Nation

aka

Chapter 11: How to Get Started and 10 Pitfalls to Avoid

Section 3 has just one chapter, but it’s a good one.    It explains the difference between followers and fans, the value of each and how to bond with each.   The difference?  Fans are actively involved.   Followers are far more passive.

This section/chapter also goes into some things to avoid, like abandoning a social media strategy too early, failing to market your business, underestimating the power(positive and negative) of a social network.

Is it worth getting the book?

Social Nation bills itself as a complete social media toolbox, but it falls a bit short.   The book tackles social media from a purely strategic point of view, ignoring the tactical concerns.   It’s clearly geared toward helping a company plan its social media strategy from a 10,000 foot perch.   For the people in the trenches, or anyone with a grasp of strategy that’s looking for the details on running a social media campaign, it’s not enough.  That said, if you are trying to plan a social media strategy, or you have no idea where to start, this is a great book for you.   It holds a lot of value, but stops some distance before “complete”.  Definitely worth a read if you are involved is social media planning.

Giveaway

I’m giving away Social Nation.   If you’d like to have a chance to get it, just leave a comment, telling me how you like to see companies use social media.  Fair warning, this is the book I read, so it’s “used”.   I take care of books, so you can’t tell that it’s used.

Publishers, Publicists, and Authors

If you have a book you’d like me to review, please contact me.

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