OK so my first tool sucked!

Alright, I admit my first tool (bloglines.com) stunk so I have switched to the tool that most of you recommended – WordPress.

It just took me an evening to get it setup on my PHP host. It’s looking good although I haven’t had time to change all the default templating stuff but I am up and running on a pretty decent template package. Maybe I’ll trade services with our design master — Bob C. to get me some real customized looks:)

I am still dabbling with the Movable Type product as it might work great for my family blog. I am sure I will have plenty of stupid questions to bug my team with about these packages.

I’m Liking It!

3/13/07

My second blog entry – Thanks team for shaming me into this. I kind of like it!

It was the second and last day of our Oxygen Media Ad Sales conference in Miami Florida today and typical of such events there was the perfunctory closing remarks (glad handing, thanks, Rah! Rah!, etc.). Believe me even though this is my first O2 sales/marketing conference, I have been to plenty as I worked as a sales professional albeit in another industry for 5+ years. I have no concerns that this combined team will meet or surpass its goals for the year.

We had a great speaker today about personal performance – Raquel Malo, Energy for Performance. Everything she said about personal performance seemed reasonable. Her biggest point was to make sure you maximize focus/energy for whatever you are doing in life (professional, personal, etc.). In other words make it count. This has always been a personal belief of mine.

My thoughts about her talk was does the same apply to teams? My belief is “yes”. I look at my teams and those of others responsible for creating products at Oxygen Media and I think it’s also true. If teams maximize focus and energy they tend to achieve goals.

The process we use in software development (Agile Development) certainly is designed around this key concept so it supports this premise and indeed I think most would agree that we achieve this at Oxygen.

Another, example that became very obvious to me at this Ad Sales conference was our programming department. Although I am observing this as an outsider it seems like a few years ago that we focused on too many different kinds of programming. In the last couple of years the team has really focused on romantic comedy and reality as a concept (primarily with a few exceptions) and we have really had a few hits and I think the ratings show the results of the focus and energy. Debbie Beece and her team deserve a great deal of credit for this change and momentum.

A counter example though is that I feel our online offering suffers greatly from a lack of focus and building out significant features that our audience expects. The net result is that we are too scattered. We have too many ideas and features none of which is really prioritized higher than any other one. We tend to try and do too many things rather than less of them but really focused on the consumer.

My First Blog Post

mandarin oriental miami opiumbedsonbeach 300x238 My First Blog Post

3/12/07

My first blog entry – I really can’t believe I am doing this…damn my own team has shamed me into this!

I was fortunate enough to attend our recent Sales Conference for Oxygen Media in Miami Florida. I am told that this year was over the top and even though I can’t judge for sure this year (because it is my first time going at Oxygen Media), I felt the conference was great. Not only was the environmental element impressive (come on what’s wrong with the Mandarin Oriental in Miami Florida for Christ Sake, 82 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, 5 star spa resort, swimming pool, custom white sand beach, you get the picture, if not here’s the link).

I have to say it was a great time to bond with my colleagues from our Ad Sales department, Affiliate Sales department and Marketing (all teams). I was very impressed with not only the people in the departments but their shared vision and outcome. It got me to thinking about the teams I manage (IT and software development) and how we share a vision.

Both of my teams have this strength about sharing a vision and pulling for it but in distinctly different ways. In both cases it works equally well and it’s all about the commitment of the team and the leadership at the top. If either of those is out of whack it doesn’t work. The meetings with all the sales & marketing groups at Oxygen further convinced me that the outcome can be the same if both elements exist – commitment of the team and the leadership at the top.

Indeed my job now is to get my teams to work with these fantastic groups even more than they already do and advertise the product expertise that we have and how that can help sales and marketing at Oxygen. I was inspired by how all these teams work together and how I think we can help them by offering a superior product for them to sell and market.