My very talented friend & colleague Strother Gaines just released his “speaker reel”; I admire his style and his approach to storytelling and authenticity. His coaching style is as unique and changing as he is; keeping him fresh and energized. Check him out below or visit his website unicorndammit.com.

When I see talent like this, it just makes me want to step up my own game but also see these winners succeed in their own way, on their own terms.

His swing on things makes you stop and read. For instance – when you stop at his website – you see “UNICORNS ARE BAD-ASS AND SO ARE YOU BUT WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH COACHING?” with a call to action to find out why?.

Some very clever thinking went in behind this. Bravo!

 

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Was a busy weekend on many fronts but the best one was getting a chance to see my work spotlighted on the Seasons Of Pride website as part of recognizing LGBT businesses.

The written interview gave me a chance to talk about the concept behind my work as MentorSF as well as share some on my newer programs including the Storytelling Bootcamp that I am now offering and my Explorers Program not to mention, tease a bit on some new projects due out this year.

You can read the actual interview here, or by visiting SeasonsofPride.com’s Business Spotlight for April 7th, 2017 .

A new feature on the site later this month is a new mobile video series that with centers around an “Ask Me A Question”  theme, with my responding via video instead of the written word. It is an experiment, so I intend to keep it casual, humorous and contempory.

You can also check out my introduction video if you missed it on the main page of MentorSF below.

Be sure you also sign up on my mailing list, follow MentorSF on Facebook or check out my  Engage! blog for the upcoming announcements and offerings.

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Wading through the “VPN” marketplace

Posted April 5, 2017 By Frank Strona

A local pal and one of my “tech go to’s people” took some time and wrote a post on the recent increase in calls for awareness about privacy and VPN’s. I likes its simplicity and while I have been using another company – I thought his well don’t post was well worth sharing for those who haven’t yet adopted one.

 

Protect Your Privacy from ISPs and Cyber Threats

April 4, 2017|Jack Mou

Trump’s recent repeal of broadband privacy rules has many of us concerned.  Your internet service providers (ISPs) can now make more money by selling your search and browsing history.  Imagine your search of medical treatments via your web browser or visits to medical treatment websites could also end up in the hands of marketing companies.  In addition, we don’t know how these marketing companies sells your data elsewhere.

So are you worried about your ISP? Is someone on your coffee shop’s Wi-Fi?  A hacker bugging your home internet? A virtual private network (VPN) can help protect your privacy.  VPNs, such as PureVPN, will protect your internet privacy from your ISP and any other would-be snoopers.

A VPN uses encryption technologies, to create a virtual encrypted “tunnel” between your device and a VPN server.  While your traffic is in this tunnel between you and a VPN server, no one can see where you’re going or what you’re doing.

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Never forget your “Humanness” 

Posted April 3, 2017 By Frank Strona

Let’s just leave this here for a moment‪ 

Published on Mar 10, 2017

PRE-ORDER PTX VOL. 4 – CLASSICS EP NOW BEFORE APRIL 7TH TO RECEIVE INSTANT DOWNLOADS OF “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”, “IMAGINE” & “JOLENE” FT. DOLLY PARTON! ITUNES http://smarturl.it/PTXVol4iT?IQid=yt | AMAZON http://smarturl.it/PTXVol4Amz?IQid=yt

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Some highlights worth a read in the news and online

Posted March 27, 2017 By Frank Strona

Gathered from around the globe –

1) A recent post worth reviewing; especially if you are considering using Google Ads and the potential for content message conflict with an organization: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39325916

2) Considering a new Blog reach for your program’s health messaging? Medium.com one of the more recent platforms just took it ad free with a new “special members fee”

3) When using the social media platforms; understanading the thinking behind two-communication is jsut as important as who and what is shared our wider from your posts. Ragan’s PR Dairy recently posted on this in Study: Who shares your content matters 

4) On Facebook”s “yet another shift” front:  If you hate Messenger, you’re really not gonna like Facebook’s latest update 

5) Spring Cleaning Your  Content; from @PSdaily 10 ‘spring cleaning’ AP style tips

6) Transparency has been a buzz word in business and health for the last few years in terms of promotion and dashboard thinking of success; here is one take to consider:  New ‘Tactical Data Engagement’ guide shows cities how to make transparency count

7) and because I like my “tips” posts; 10 Snapchat tricks to make you a power user from @mashable

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Storytelling tips for health and success

Posted March 24, 2017 By Frank Strona

For those of you following, you may notice I am on a theme of storytelling for health and success currently. Below I am sharing a few more tips and links I thought worth mentioning.

Context & Thinking

This short article takes about user engagement and branding – but also provides some thinking on the development and message you hope to put out. Its relatively short and suggested more from a “think on it” perspective

The 5 hard truths about user generated content

Another thinking one that may be worth a read when thinking about where and how to tell your story is:

Facebook’s livestreaming strategy looks a lot like Twitter’s livestreaming strategy Facebook wants to be a destination for live video content.

Training: Caught this on up on on Engadget.com

Pixar opens a free Khan Academy course on storytelling

Pixar is offering a free course through Khan Academy that can help you find the kind of stories you want to tell — and help you tell them better. The “Art of Storytelling” is the latest installment in a series of free courses from the studio called “Pixar in a Box.” It discusses ways to build worlds and characters, how to make sure your stories reflect your unique perspective, along with other relevant advice. And if there’s anybody qualified to give storytelling advice, it’s the creators of Toy Story, Wall-E and Up.”

Hosted on the Khan Academy Website, the latest of the video’s but others are searchable as well.

Creation and Filming

How to create video on a shoestring budget Sure, you’d like to have visionary executives who understand your need for a full, state-of-the-art video studio. Yet when you want to post internal videos, you’re stuck with a smartphone. Don’t give up. You can get high-quality video through affordable tools such as your own phone, says Jeremy Godwin, a manager on Verizon Wireless’ culture and employee communications team.

Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan Communications’ distance-learning portal Ragan Training. The site contains hundreds of hours of case studies, video presentations and interactive courses. 

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I would love to read some of your takes on this article; Workforce development,  Mental & Social Health and Addiction specialists, Others.

Thoughts? The Psychology Of Tech Addiction and Why Going Cold Turkey Doesn’t Work

“A Q&A with Adam Alter, author of Irresistible: The Rise Of Addictive Technology And The Business Of Keeping Us Hooked.”

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Sometimes “Free” is a great opening to engage

Posted March 15, 2017 By Frank Strona

For those of you with an interest in tackling the written word online or storytelling – I found some additional resources to share:

Whats the scoop about Social Media?

Check out the Social Media 101 – Social Media Quickstarter blog from Constant Contact

https://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/#

These are free (or mostly free) and online:

Writing for the Web (WriteWeb) 

“Explore how writing style, web design and structure can grab the attention of and engage online readers.”

https://www.open2study.com/courses/writing-for-the-web

Writing for Brands: Freelancing in the Age of Content Marketing (Beginner)

https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Writing-for-Brands-Freelancing-in-the-Age-of-Content-Marketing/1109486316?via=search-layout-grid

“Knowing how to pitch and write for brands is key to a successful freelance writing career — and it’s never been more important than in today’s digital content-driven world.

In this 30-minute Skillshare class, Contently’s Brian Maehl breaks the process down into simple steps, so you can advance your writing career and get paid to create content that you’re proud to show in your portfolio”.

Facebook Blueprint eLearning

https://www.facebook.com/blueprint

Here is one for you soon to be storytellers who have an iPhone:

DIY Viral Video: A Mini Class on Making iPhone How-To Videos

https://www.skillshare.com/classes/DIY-Viral-Video-A-Mini-Class-on-Making-iPhone-How-To-Videos/1271981695/classroom/discussions?via=browse-popular-video-editing-layout-grid&enrolledRedirect=1

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Having interests outside of the workplace is “good business” . 

 When teams feel a balance and enage in activities that bring them satisfaction, pleasure, control, strategic thinking and creativity after hours, they bring the fruit of that energized mind back to the work place.  

Bonnie Crater wrote back in July 2016; Having a Life Outside of the Office Is Actually Good Business  and a newer post from Stewart Brown in Feb 2017; How hobbies can make us better in the workplace is cause for thinking. 

 So what do I do after hours to recharge myself?

I try to plan ahead and commit to attending activities that expand my thinking and creativity at least once a week. But several months ago I also joined a book club to expose me to reading and discussion I might miss from just those on my facebook pages (check me ur on Goodreads to see my crazy topic range).

 But also I blog about my cooking and attempts at baking, adapting old vintage recipes for modern day tastes and equipment  ( the good and the bad), I share my travels and hints for entertaining and all the stories, recipes and “oh my’s” that make up my outside world on http://BiteTheRoad.com as a counter balance to my blog on social and digital media leadership at MentorSF.com under my Engage! Blog  and share at my page for it on Facebook: Facebook.com/mentorsfca

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I have been reflecting and reading many of the comments on the recent series from @WhenWeRiseABC , @DlanceBlack and after reading the Cleve Jones book of the same title When We Rise back in December, I had posted a version of this message earlier this past weekend on one pals recent thinking, but thought I would share more widely as well;
 
I think what I am appreciating from all these emerging discussions on the series and the book, is not so much the deconstruction of “what or who” wasn’t included in the series. Now unlike some critics, I allow that the book is much more to  Cleve Jone’s own story – so I expected that the focus is perspective based and if truth be told – I liked seeing the memories from someone else eyes different than mine. So I am  rather I inspired that during this messy time of politics “news drama” playing out before my eyes every night and on twitter daily, it was refreshing  to too see that Dustin Lance Black’s telling of Jone’s story  is putting a match to discussion and debate. Something we have been seeing less of.

See another’s thinking on When We Rise here: https://medium.com/@RACEBANNON/when-we-rise-a-book-for-our-time-5b8641d7fa29
 
For many of us, by the time President Obama came into his second term we were tired. So tired, after so many years of death, pain, fighting and loss.. we sort of took retirement. Now not everyone, I know many people who kept the fight going for funds, healthcare etc – but especially for some of us here in San Francisco some of the energy changes..  our reserves were low and we had yet to find a way to inspire them. Even volunteerism took a decline. For me, I think I needed to be reminded of those days and more importantly the people still alive from that time who kicked some major ass.
 
If one were to see experiences as opportunities to learn major messages, the one I took from the series really was “Remember who we were, and tell our own stories loudly, don’t expect others to get it right. For it’s not in the rightness the story that makes them live on -it’s in the telling“.
I challenge those detractors who seek to complain that it didn’t “represent”; to tell your story – social media, video, write – todays world offers a wide ranges of options to share from here on FB and the creation of pages, to Medium.com, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo or personal blogs hosted on such platforms as WordPress.org or WordPress.com, LiveJournal.com etc. No one is stopping you but yourself – and not asking for help, for those less tech savvy, that isn’t an excuse.. you have those around that would help.
Now for those of you who may have gotten that inspiration and are tech savvy – I have saved these blog posts in my “favs” folder, which I thought worth sharing as it offers some more concrete tips. If you aren’t as tech savvy – ask around, I bet one of those kids running around you see everyday know how !
  • AskATechTeacher posted this blog; which was a really nice way to dive in; “9 Best-in-Class Digital Storytelling Tool” and posted a really clean and easy list of critical elements, according to Center for Digital Storytelling:
    1. Point of View — What is the perspective of the author?
    2. Dramatic Question — A key question that keeps the viewer’s attention and will be answered by the end of the story.
    3. Emotional Content — Serious issues that come alive in a personal and powerful way and connects the audience to the story.
    4. Voice — personalize the story with the author’s unique writing style to help the audience understand the context.
    5. Soundtrack — Music or other sounds that support and embellish the story.
    6. Economy — Using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer.
    7. Pacing — The rhythm of the story and how slowly or quickly it progresses.
 Read the entire post here

Note – for more hints on how to create an online blog – check out my 2-part series from last week; “How Do I Get Started With An Online Blog” Part 1 and How Do I Get Started With A Online Blog Part 2.

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