January 3, 2009

Bulk view

Annual letter: the numbers

I sent out 205 hand-personalized yearly updates in my initial set of holiday greetings. I’ve received 60 replies so far, for a response rate of almost 30% – much better than surveys and e-mail marketing campaigns. Most included people’s highlights of 2008 and goals for 2009, which I’ve added to my address book. I’ve cleared my inbox (hooray!) and now I’m thinking of e-mailing everyone on LinkedIn.

I’ve updated my address book from my LinkedIn contacts, which has somehow grown to 643 people. Of these 643 people, 135 were already in the first list of people I’d e-mailed. I’m slowly working my way through the 508 people remaining. I had so much fun reading and responding to people’s updates, and I’m looking forward to getting to know people in my extended network a little bit more! I’m still going to hand-personalize things as much as possible, because it’s fun looking up people’s updates and pleasantly surprising (most of) them with that human touch.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with encouragement, reviews, and goals. Definitely worth doing again!

Ideas for improving my website

  1. Add a section about my speaking topics and events
  2. Switch to Drupal and customize it
  3. Restore the Feedburner widget that shows how many people read this blog
  4. Make it easy to view my blog through different lenses (geek, life, both)
  5. Have a landing page that explains the site for first-time visitors
  6. Allow people to choose their default landing page when they come to sachachua.com
  7. Add more photos
  8. Make my sketches easier to view
  9. Allow people to toggle full entry, summary, or list view
  10. Put my self-introduction on the front page
  11. Highlight certain blog posts
  12. Extract names, e-mail addresses, and websites of people who have commented, and thank them
  13. Remember to respond to comments by e-mail as well as online
  14. Find a way of sharing the books I’m currently reading and what I’m learning from them
  15. Add a page with my blogroll
  16. Link to my other presences on the Web
  17. Make it easier to remember visitors’ details
  18. Visualize my posts and my posting frequency
  19. Format into a nice PDF
  20. Pull in relevant Twitter entries
  21. Make it easier for people to subscribe
  22. Use category templates and icons
  23. Share my task list again?
  24. Share my currently-checked-out list again
  25. Share my book summaries
  26. Share my to-read list
  27. Share my reading history

Ideas for becoming a better networker

  • Load contact information onto my iPod Touch in a way that I can easily search
  • Explore using a system like SugarCRM
  • Add pictures to my contact records
  • Schedule real-life contacts weekly
  • Send updates to all of my contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook as well
  • Store people’s goals in their address book records
  • Find people’s blogs or other online profiles and put those in address book records; ask new acquaintances about those too.
  • Improve hypersegmentation of e-mail by creating code templates and data structures
  • Read more resources, and summarize them in hypersegmented monthly or quarterly e-mails
  • Find a way to enable my network to share their goals with each other.
  • Improve follow-up process by sending e-mail within three days of event
  • Develop templates I can customize for events
  • Organize an external event around a topic of common interest
  • Summarize my weekly reports into monthly reviews and highlighted blog entries
  • Visualize my contacts by last contact so that I can see who I haven’t been in touch with in a while
  • Visualize my contacts according to interest
  • Pick up a card scanner that works with Linux? (hmm, not needed yet)
  • Remember birthdays as a good excuse to ask people what they’re planning for the next year of their life and how I can help
  • Hold regular dinner parties
  • Expand size of dinner parties