Launching The Virtual Handshake Company

I’m pleased today to announce the launch of The Virtual Handshake company.

When we published The Virtual Handshake book in 2005, we were on the leading edge of what’s now known as social media marketing. We envisioned then what has now come to pass: social becoming a ubiquitous channel like the telephone, mail, television, radio, and email before it. And along with that, an entire ecosystem of specialized products and services: technology, education, strategy, implementation, content creation, and outsourced engagement management.

But in 2005, the market wasn’t ready for all that. Now it is.

Our initial offering is consulting services focused on social strategy and social technology. We’ve been doing this since 2002. We’ve worked with Fortune 10 companies, mid-market companies, and major social media platforms, on down to startups and solo professionals. We have a unique framework for social media strategy based on our book. We also have 10+ years of experience working with social listening and social data on a massive scale. We bring that expertise to mid-market and growing businesses that are running into the challenges of scaling their social media operations.

In short, we do social at scale.

Coming in 2020, watch for:

  • Educational programs, focused on leveraging online networks based on your business role: social selling, relationship marketing, finding a job, business development, finding employees, and more.
  • The Virtual Handshake podcast, featuring our insights into social strategy and technology and interviews with industry leaders.
  • The Virtual Handshake 2020, a revisit of our ground-breaking book, updated for 2020, on our blog.

For updates, follow our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

We look forward to exploring the next phase of the social web with you.

I’m the New VP of Marketing for OneCoach

I’m pleased to announce that I am the new Vice President of Marketing for OneCoach, a business coaching and consulting firm focused on helping business owners accelerate their business growth.

This is my dream job, quite literally. In 2007, shortly after meeting and interviewing the OneCoach founders, I was invited to speak at their “Mind, Marketing and Millions” conference. After meeting the rest of the team and being immersed in that environment of people who were so passionate about their work and clients who were achieving phenomenal results, I told the then-VP-of-Marketing that he had my dream job.  Three years later, here I am. The improbable chain of serendipities that has led to this point still amazes me.

I’ll continue to be available, on a limited basis, for coaching/consulting (through OneCoach) and speaking engagements/webinars. I’ll also continue as a regular contributor at OPEN Forum and Answers, both of which serve the same target market as OneCoach.

I’d like to invite you to connect with OneCoach on our newly-redesigned blog, Facebook, and @OneCoach on Twitter.

I’m brimming with excitement at this opportunity and looking forward to a long and prosperous future together with OneCoach.

Final draft available: private equity and venture capital funds' best practices in originating new investments

Lincoln on U.S. one cent


We’re in the last lap of editing our research study on best practices of private equity and venture capital investors in originating new investments, which has a particular focus on use of social media.  We plan to publish this in a major private equity journal.


If you would like to review a copy of the 12,000-word report, please contact us.  We would greatly value your feedback.


(Image via Wikipedia)

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Founder Institute New York: Early Admissions deadline Aug. 15/Final deadline Aug. 29



We have another Founder Institute semester spooling up in NYC, and the early admissions deadline is August 15th, with final admissions on August 29th.  Our host will be local entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann, and the applicant pool so far looks very strong. 


If you are an early-stage entrepreneur, this is a very powerful way to upgrade the sophistication of your company and significantly increase your odds of success.  Among the noteable companies from the inaugural New York Founder Institute are Profitably, Simple.PR, and, and VIMOTA.  Complete list here.


Applications Due: 08/29/2010
Sessions: 09/07/2010 to 12/15/2010


I hope to see you there!

Launch of, a market for independent Wall Street research



Four days ago, a team of Wall Street veterans launched, a new marketplace for independent research providers.  I met with the management team today.  Ironically, they’re sharing offices with, another NY startup.  John Frankel, the Founder, said that the people at Tracked like the domain name Track so much that they bought offers independent research providers a platform to distribute their intellectual property.  Buyers pay subscriptions for access to the pool of content. Similar to Value Investors Club, the general public can get access to the content at no charge after a delay.


It looks like an institutional version of SeekingAlpha.  It also has components of the market for research that AQ Research tried to launch some time ago.  Eventually, I’m sure Track will build out internal discussion functionality similar to other collaborative investing startups.


I think their greatest obstacle is noise.  There is a deluge of opinions available on the markets in every possible medium, and for every possible view on the market you will find someone passionately defending that view. 


The most clever parts of their model are:

– the appeal to elitism, which has a proven appeal on Wall Street

– the recruiting of Wall Street alumni in transition, who want to keep their brand visible in the market.  Given my background working with executives in transition, I particularly liked this aspect of the model.

– the tiered display of research over time, in order to price discriminate


I look forward to following their progress.  FYI, they’re actively hiring developers.

DancetimePublications seeking social media marketing consultant: approximately 60-80 work-hours December-January, flexible commitment—New York, NY

Dancetime DVD! 500 Years of Social Dance Volume IDancetime DVD! 500 Years of Social Dance, Volume II The New Dance Group Gala Historical Concert

DancetimePublications, the largest dance history DVD website, seeking social media marketing consultant: approximately 60-80 work-hours December-January, flexible commitment—New York, NY

My mom, Carol Teten, is seeking some advice:

Our Firm


Dancetime Publications is a publishing company devoted to the creation and distribution of information products based on our heritage of Western social and theatrical dance. Most of our revenues are via the sale of DVDs on our website,, and via paper mailings to our proprietary mailing list. In addition, we just launched a directory of other companies’ dance history products on our website, which we are monetizing via the Amazon affiliate program.


Our work has been praised by such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Library Journal, and Dance Magazine. Our CEO, Carol Teten, is one of the world’s leading experts in historical Western social dance.


Among the dances for which we have DVD products:

20th Century: Fox Trot, Tango, Charleston, Lindy, Rumba, Jitterbug, Twist, Disco, Breakdancing, and Hip Hop.

19th Century: Waltz, Polka, Gallop, Mazurka and Quadrille (square dances)

18th Century: Gigue, Allemande and Contradance (country dances)

17th Century: Minuet and Saraband

16th Century: Volta, Saltarello, and Galliard

15th Century: Bassadanze and Balli


We also have DVD products related to Modern Dance pioneers such as Pearl Primus, Charles Weidman, Donald McKayle, and Anna Sokolov; and Jazz Dance legends such as Pepsi Bethel, James Barry, Al Minns, Leon James, and Frankie Manning.


New DVDs are coming out on THE BIG APPLE and on HIP-HOP.

Primary Job Responsibilities

We are looking for a consultant to work in December-January, preferably about 30 hours/week. The exact hours you work are entirely flexible. Your primary responsibilities:

– build out our database of dance history websites

– build databases of online communities of people interested in historical dance and dance history

– outreach directly to these communities via email, IM, etc.

– Solicit online community leaders to link to website, and/or to advertise our videos to their community.


Based on your performance and our needs, your role may continue as a part-time or full-time job after January.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated self-starter with strong writing experience, social media marketing experience, and a track record of continuous self-improvement, high achievement, and aggressiveness. You have strong interpersonal communication skills, a poised, professional demeanor, and basic proficiency in PCs: Microsoft Office suite. You should be a confident and innovative problem solver with the ability to drive projects forward to timely completion.


Although you can complete this consulting project from anywhere in the US, we have a preference for people based in the New York, NY area.


The following will strengthen your candidacy significantly:

– Diverse social media marketing experience: email, online communities, social networks

– Experience as a leader of an online community

– Experience in the dance world, preferably dance history

– Experience marketing Amazon affiliate websites


$10-$20/hour, depending on experience.

Next Steps

Please send us the following:

+ Resume, titled “LastName-FirstName-2009”, e.g., “Spitzer-Eliot-2009”

+ Cover letter, indicating the dates and times that you are available

+ Writing sample (e.g., a report or memo from work, or a paper from school)


Please send your resume and cover letter to carol(AT) with “Social Media Marketing” in the subject line.

Women's Association of Venture and Equity Sep. 30 Event: Deal Sourcing in a Down Market

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I hope that some of you can join us for a panel discussion sponsored by the Women’s Association of Venture & Equity, on Wednesday, September 30 in New York.  I’ll be discussing the results of my research on best practices in deal origination, with a focus on use of social media.  Please note this is only open to women who work in or advise the private equity/venture capital industry.




"Deal Sourcing in a Down Market"


A panel of experienced private equity investors and advisors will discuss strategies and best practices for finding deals in a tough market.

Event Chair:
Yue Guan, Palladium Equity Partners

Djena Graves Lennix, ICV Partners

Robert Landis, Partner, Origination – Riverside Company
David Teten, CEO – Teten Advisors, LLC
Robert Hall, Senior Advisor – Centerview Partners
Gretchen Perkins, VP of Business Development – Huron Capital Partners


New York Marriott East Side
525 Lexington Avenue (and 49th Street)
New York, NY 10017-1226

Click here for directions

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm


6:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Registration
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Panel Discussion
7:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Reception & Networking


$80 for WAVE members;
$95 for non-members

How to register:
The audience is limited to women in PE – GPs, LPs, intermediaries, placement agents, and advisors.  Advance registration is required. All registrations are screened.

Contact Danielle Fraser, WAVE Administrator at or call 877-928-3606.

Moving on from

It’s official. As of Monday, May 25, I’m no longer the Entrepreneurs Guide at You can read the full story and more about what’s next for me on my personal blog.

Notes on Liminal Group’s 2009 Sales & Marketing Symposium

Following are my notes on Liminal Group‘s 2009 Sales & Marketing Symposium, which took place Wednesday.


First speaker: Paul Greenberg,

author, CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, President, The 56 Group, LLC; founding partner of CRM training company, BPT Partners, LLC. At the end of 2007, he was the #1 non-vendor influencer ranked by InsideCRM in their annual “25 Most Influential CRM People” announcement. He was also named one of the most influential CRM leaders in 2008 by CRM Magazine.

Gen Y are first generation to spend more time on Net than watching TV

31% of people age 20s-early 40s are elite tech users (source: Pew)

The number of people who say “people like me” is their most trusted source of information has grown dramatically in the last 5 years, and is now rated the most trusted source of information. (Source: Edelman)

Member communities reach more internet users (66.8%) than email (65.1%) (source: Nielsen Online research: “Global faces on networked places”. )

You have to accommodate even ‘low value’ customers because of what they can do to you. And no customer thinks he’s ‘low value’.

A few years ago Disney Destinations changed the CRM acronym to CMR (Customer Managed Relationships). This meant customers could plan/adjust their own vacations.

This means they didn’t need as many live agents. And many customers prefer this.

I have a CRM podcast, CRMPlayaz, and all we do is rip on things

Old research said Advocates will speak to 5-9 people about what they love; detractors will speak to 9-16 people. But new research: detractors can now reach millions. Now just the threat of public detraction is sufficient.

Recommends looking at Doubleclick Simultaneous Media Usage Study.

The New Marketing Model

The reputation of the company, not the message, becomes the brand

Example: Sanvick, a mining company in Sweden, is rated most trusted company in Europe. Has a fair play code that governs everything they do. One of their core values is transparency. In their annual report, they release information about criteria for executive’s bonuses; whether they got bonus or not.

Counterexample of what not to do: Walmart’s ‘flog’: fake blog with some actors pretending to be Walmart customers

Authenticity and trust is what matters, more than consistency of the message

From “How consumer conversation will transform business”-PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2007. Free report.

We need to ‘hear whispers’. Measure:

– Volume: amount mentioned vs. Historic pattern

– Tone

– Coverage: # sources generating conversation

– Authoritativeness/Reputation

New business model

Lines between producer and consumer are blurred. They are co-creators of value.

Open lines of communication.

Producer is an aggregator for the user’s creative activity

User is an advocate of the experience and the company

When you listen to the customer, you often learn that what you thought about the customer is completely wrong.

BMW now has identified and developed with customers 15 telematics features.

Samsung overtook Sony as leading consumer electronics company, because they worked with customers to identify 25 customer touchpoints.

When Skype was first launched, there was a Skype user group called “public mind” which was particularly active . Skype mined that user group for ideas to prioritize.

Skype was acquired for $1.6b . At the time had 54m customers, $11m revenue.

KarmaLoop sells Gen Y clothing. Sells traditional brands, plus independent brands. They now have 100,000+members in their community.

Have junglelife social network, by invitation only to trend-setters.

Also have Street Team. They are 1% of KarmaLoop community. Their job is to sell KarmaLoop products. You sign up and get a unijque code. Get friends to buy on the site using your code. They get discounts plus points. Additional points for uploading content of their street activities.

Another similar company: Threadless. $26m revenue.

BY 2010, 60% of Fortune 1000 will have some sort of community (Gartner Social CRM 2009 Forecast) but 50% will fail to be managed properly. They won’t participate enough; they won’t keep content fresh.

KLM Club China: looks like traditional online community. What’s unusual: it includes an ‘experiences’ section, where members can upload their experiences doing business in China. Not just travel. Also includes suggestions on doing business in China.

Contrast this with United Red Carpet Club, which is missing all this functionality.

V. Kumar came up with 3 lifetime metrics: Customer Lifetime Value, Customer Referral Value, Customer Brand Value.

Tools of CRM 2.0

The Social Stack

Identify and Object interface in these domains: Reputation, relationships, conversation, groups, sharing, collaborative, actions, presence.

Only 30% of companies have holy grail of one person, one record.

The new holy grail: "a company like me", who is trusted in the same way that a "person like me" is trusted.


The next speaker was Penelope Trunk, author, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success .  She’s a very entertaining and personable speaker.  I generally agreed with her points, with two major exceptions.  

1) Her speech sounded as if it could have been delivered a year ago, and hasn’t been adjusted for US debt bomb exploding.  I don’t believe her claim that Generation Yers don’t care about money and can go move in with their parents when Gen Y’s father just lost his job, and Gen Y’s mom just had her house foreclosed upon. 

2)   I thought that some of her comments about "managing Generation Y" were really comments about "manag
ing Generation Y children of upper-middle-class parents"


Gen Y doesn’t believe money = happiness. They’ve all taken classes in positive psychology, which have taught them that. Janitors are usually happier than lawyer. Lawyers are the most suicidal of all professions.

You need to make $150K more to offset cost of moving away from family/loved ones.

65% of Gen Y lived with parents, BEFORE recession

Gallup: If you have 2 friends at work, it’s virtually impossible to have a bad time.

If one person quits a restaurant, the others will likely quit also.

They think that experience of work should be like experience of doing stuff in teams. They did prom in teams, they did sports like soccer which is very team oriented. They love their parents.

I’ve had dinner with the parents of everyone who works for me.

Gen Y doesn’t like to pay their dues.

They don’t believe in the ladder you climb, so therefore why do the grunt work at the bottom?

So every day is a trade: they’ll do your Xerox, but they want you to do something for them in exchange.

They really value learning

They’re not argumentative, not protesting in streets.

Mentoring is the new currency.

They’re used to their parents being very invested in their success.

They expect authenticity.

A good blog post/tweet should make you nervous, that you’re providing too much information.

Everyone believes that they’re authentic, but they’re not.

Gen Y is so productive. They always have an empty inbox.

Career Goal for Gen Y is be an information synthesizer. Information is commoditized, so the real value is being on top of it.

Gen Y is genuinely nice. This is shocking because the workplace is not set up for that.

This is a generation of team players, not leaders.

They have very good social skills, are good at office politics.

We all have the same values. Gen X complains the most because no one pays attention to us.

There’s still a shortage of Gen Y jobs in this economy. When they say, ‘there are no jobs’, they mean, ‘there are no good jobs’.

Question : 50% of 2009 graduates will be unemployed. Do you think this perspective has changed?

Media is run by boomers, and they’re panicked because 50% of boomers are unemployed. (David: I doubt these statistics).

Gen Y in India and Gen Y in US have access to exact same info.

Gen Y finds entrepreneurship very easy. It’s cheap to start. Easy to market initially to their friends. Whole VC market has shifted. Job market is getting worse , so the drive is greater. They have incredible need for multiple revenue streams.

Gen Y doesn’t complain about being grouped as a generation. Only older people do.

Gen Y thinks it’s a joke if you don’t have CRM

Gen Y picks up the phone because Gen X expects them to.

Emptying your inbox is an "inbox enema."

Guy Kawasaki uses Twitter exclusively to promote himself; I use Twitter just to discuss my life.

Outsell report: Social Media in Scientific, Technical and Medical Information Part 1: Social Networking

I enjoyed reading Outsell’s new report on Social Media in Scientific, Technical and Medical Information Part 1: Social Networking.

The most useful aspect of the report is that it includes the most extensive list I’ve seen of gated professional online networks. A trend I’ve been following for a long time (and worked on while running Circle of Experts) is gated online communities for professionals. If you want to know where scientists, businesspeople, doctors, etc., are congregating online, this report can give you guidance. For another (free) list and more information on this topic, see

The report does have some holes:
– It does not discuss the millions of small online communities on the Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc. platforms.
– It does not include Albourne Village, the leading online community for the hedge fund/private equity sector.
– It lists only a few expert network companies in which the client pays, but omits the largest ones: Gerson Lehrman, Vista Research, Evalueserve, etc. For a longer list of expert network companies (and also great advice if you’re seeking consulting opportunities/a job), see 8 Steps to Running a Diversified Job Search on the Web.

The most insightful point in the report is that it observes the very conspicuous lack of trade associations. You would think that the industry trade associations would be aggressively building online communities for their members, but there are surprisingly few examples. There is a business opportunity in helping associations to go on-line, before they become disintermediated.

(Disclosure: Outsell recently listed Evalueserve as the fastest-growing Market Research, Reports & Services (MRRS) company globally, in a separate report.)