Thursday, April 10, 2008

Whacky Whursday... Now That's Whacky!!!

Whacking the Side of Our Head on Thursday, instead of our traditional Wednesday?... Now THAT'S whacky!  That's what I like... keeping things interesting enough that you never quite know what to expect.  Truth be known... I got all caught up in Connectors and Mavens and lost track of what day it was.  Hmmmm... does my lack of attention to detail mean I could never be a maven?  Probably.

Quick Update:
Yesterday was a good day, but nowhere near as good as as the Monday or Tuesday.  Yesterday 92 people visited our site, putting our grand total - to date - at 2,715 viewers.  That leaves 6 days and 2,285 more visits.  Sound impossible?  That's precisely what makes this such a fun challenge.  Few people think we can pull this off.  But, what if we can?  What a great lesson for our naysayers.  Other interesting tidbits... we now have 40 states participating and 20 countries.

Ok.  Today's Whack on the side of the head will continue exploring how we can spread our creative ideas.  At the expense of overdoing it, I will use the same goal (reaching 5,000 readers by 4/16) when applying today's whack.  My hope is that in addition to shedding new light, my continued use of the idea will help illustrate (1) that creative minds look at something from many angles, (2) employ numerous strategies, and (3) apply information from one setting to another in order to make discoveries and have mental breakthroughs (not "downs) that others consider impossible.  I'm not sure if that will happen here today, but I am going into the exercise with the expectation that the Whack will jar my conventional thinking and therefore advance my objective of "tipping"

Drum roll please....

Today's Whack:  Get Rid of Excuses.  When the Spanish explorer Cortez landed at Veracruz, the first thin he did was burn his ships.  Then he told his men: "You can either fight or you can die." Burning his ships removed a third alternative: giving up and returning to Spain.  Some times it takes more creativity to get rid of excuses than it does to come up with an idea.  What three factors will make it difficult to reach your objective?  How can you get rid of these excuses?

Whack applied:  Three factors that will make it difficult for me to reach my objective of 5,000 visitors to in the next six days are... (1) Not enough current readers motivated to spread the word, because it takes valuable time to send emails or post on other sites; (2) Not enough repeat users.  Every person who visits the site helps, but it is easier to recruit 400 people - each who returns six times than it is to find 2,400 viewers - each checking in only once; and (3) there are simply not enough days between now and April 16 to hit 5,000.  The clock is running out.

In the spirit of the activity and in an effort to think about this problem creatively... here are my attempts to get rid of the excuses one at a time...
  1. Motivate Current Readers:  Ok... for the next six days, I will create an incentive plan for you to get your friends to check out  For each friend you have visit the site and then make a post indicating that you referred them, I will submit your name in a drawing for a $25.00 gift card to the store of your choice  - to be awarded on Thursday, April 17. 
  2. Increase Repeat Visitors:  Yes, to get to 5,000 readers by April 16, I need a large volume of readers, BUT... what is really fun is when the readers get invested in the community and then continue coming back.  So, new readers... In honor of you, but open to everyone...from today through Wednesday  I will post random letters at the top by daily entry.  On Wednesday, April 16, you will have all the letters you need to spell out an item.  Whoever gathers all the letters and is first to unscramble them, revealing the item name, will actually receive "it" in the mail.  Here's a catch... I will delete each day's letters at 9:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.  So, you have to visit the site each day in order not to miss out.  Today's letters: (oops.. you snooze, you lose.).
  3. Create More Time: If my challenge is not enough time to get to 5,000 then the only real solution is to create more time.  So... for this week only I will post on Sunday! Normally I take Sunday as a day of rest, but not this week.  This week I need more time.  Of course, this strategy will only work if readers actually visit my site.  I know you have lots of other things to do, so here's the scoop for Sunday (Ice cream Sunday, that is).  At 4:16 EXACTLY I will post a particular word.  Your task will be to visit the site and get the word.  On Monday you will post what the word was.  Again, anyone posting the correct word will be in a drawing to receive a treat in the mail from me!  The word will be posted for ONE hour - from 4:16 CST to 5:16 CST. Be there or be square. 
I think the whack on the side of the head was effective at helping me eliminate factors making it difficult to meet my objective.  Now we'll see how well my proposed solutions work.  If nothing else, it will make for a fun six days.

Signing off until tomorrow when we have a Free For All Frenzy.  Two challenges in one day. P.S.  Eleven more days until Julie A. Cole needs to show herself!!!  Have you done all you can to help? 

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