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How To Setup A Vanity URL

This week while I am on vacation I have asked some friends to guest post. Today’s post is written by Kyle Johnson a member of my church where he is serves faithfully as a member of our worship band and also helps with special projects. Most recently he is helping us write and implement some social media guidelines to facilitate communication and public relations. Along those lines he has taken an active role in helping our pastor relaunch his blog site Kyle works at the artist management company Michael Smith and Associates were he is hard at work on a special training series on how to be an Artist Manager. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Take a moment to read through this post on how easy it can be to set up a vanity shorten URL and how it can be a great tool.



A few months ago, I read this great post by Michael Hyatt on how to setup a vanity URL. He recommended using the paid version of HootSuite that runs $50 a month. I got to thinking that there has to be a better (read: cheaper) way to do this.

Doing some digging around on BufferApp (more on this in a minute), I noticed that they allow custom Bitly domains. This sent me on a trail to make this vanity URL work for a minimum cost.

First, why do you want a vanity URL? Here’s two reasons why I think these are important.

1. Furthers your brand. More people will see your name on a url and know you provide great connect. I’ve setup one for Michael (mhsmith which is a tweak on his Twitter handle) and one for my boss (mgrmike which is his Twitter handle.)
2. More trust on links. Twitter automatically shortens links to To me this is a little confusing to the average user. I don’t want to click on any links unless I know the person providing them. By seeing a vanity URL from someone, I know I can trust them.

Let’s get started setting up a vanity URL for you. Here’s the step by step process: Continue Reading…

Once hired…bring them along

I have had the opportunity to interview a number of leaders from both non-profit and for-profit organizations. As a part of the conversation I always try to ask about how they or their organization mentors new employees or employees who have been placed in a new position. Almost unanimously the answer is ‘we need to do a better job of this.’

In one organization I was called into to coach an employee who had just been put in a new position…he was not doing very well. It didn’t take long to see why: Continue Reading…

“No Response”

I have endured, and those around me have celebrated, the two times that I have been on doctor’s orders not to talk, not even to make a sound.

you go for two weeks without making a sound?

But even during these times I could not keep silent around my staff and my team. While I couldn’t talk I still needed to communicate.

Silence or not responding to a request or comment is the worst thing I can do. Recently while discussing this topic with a friend he stated that ‘no response’ was probably a ‘NO’ response. While that might be the case, we leaders miss the point of our role if we are ambivalent and silent toward an idea, information request, criticism or complaint. Continue Reading…

Temporarily Disappointed

I mis-read a tweet during the NCAA basketball tournament. I thought one fan said he was “temporarily disappointed” in his favorite team who had just lost in the first round. When I read the tweet a second time it said he was “terribly disappointed.” But my hunch is both phrases are correct for the fan. The disappointment of the loss was a heart break but as soon as the next sport season begins the fan will quickly forget the disappointment.

In sports disappointment rises and falls with wins and losses.

In relationships there are also disappointments, Continue Reading…

Communication vs. Conversation

The tools of social media make it easier to connect with people. The cool term for these connections is ‘tribes.’ Seth Godin made the term popular.

The question is: through all this clutter of connecting are we really talking?

In a panel discussion at Catalyst 2010 one panelist made the statement “social media has made it easy to connect and even communicate, but that does not mean we are engaging in meaningful conversations?”

The majority who read this post, just by the fact that they do so on-line would agree that conversations can happen through technology. However in this multitude of conversations are we talking?

  • To really talk we must be intentional about the conversations.
  • To really converse we need to engage.
  • Engagement happens when we take time with the conversations.

When is the last time we picked up the phone and talked with a friend or co-worker?

In my business, social networking makes it easier to begin conversations with people. It is not the place to engage in meaningful conversations.

Does social networking make it easier for you to engage in meaningful conversations?


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