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Martin W. Smith
Works at CrowdFunde
Attended Vassar College
Lives in Durham
2,986 followers|1,261,682 views


50 Great Content Curators - Mark Traphagen

Today I get to, ever so slightly, repay an impossible to repay debt - the one I owe to +Mark Traphagen. Mark's generosity is amazing and knows no bounds as many know. His DEEP G+ expertise means he is in demand.

Mark speaks all over the country about his understanding and deep love for +Google+. Evangelical support can be damaging to an Internet marketer UNLESS that support is RIGHT (lol). Mark's call on GPlus was early and perfectly timed. When people were making fun of Google's attempt to catch up in the social space Mark stayed the course.

At one time he may have been the only boat in the G+ ocean. Not so much anymore and for good reason. I won't evangelize about G+ here since that is not today's mission, but Mark's call was perfectly timed and way more right than wrong and, in my experience, that is how you make millions online.

A #mustfollow Traphagen's army already has more than 80,000 followers and will grow to many times that number because Mark is generous, kind and he shares what he knows so well. A great teacher, mentor and coach Mark Traphagen is one of our 50 Great #contentcurators .
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Wow, thanks +Martin W. Smith. This means so much coming from you, seeing as how much you have taught me!
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CrowdFunde Scrum: Discussions Around Creating Online Community
As we work the +CrowdFunde app interesting questions about the nature of community are coming up. I just wrote a note to our designer sharing some key questions we need to answer FAST:

Content - What is here and why is it relevant, fun and cool?
Where Am I? Who Is Sponsoring & What's The Community Vibe?
What Else Can I Do Here? & What's the REWARD for doing so?

Our logic goes like this:

* Social media is making our experience of the web more SOCIAL.
* As we become more social we search less and interact more.
* As we interact more and on multiple devices we crave connection, conversation, entertainment and fun.
* As #socialmediamarketing continues to exert a powerful wave of CHANGE on the web we will prioritize community over all.

Community isn't big C COMMUNITY, but where are friends are, what they are talking about and doing. We search less because, as we become more social, we develop a "pointer network" of helpful friends and connections.

I say "connections" because some people aren't all the way to "friends" yet, but they are BIG HELPS. Had a great G+ conversation with +T.W. Anderson today for example. I don't know T. W., but he was a BIG help to our company (so he is now my BROTHER :).

The challenge is to think bi-directionally. I didn't make that up I stole it from Playing Serious Business Games author +Phaedra Boinodiris. Phaedra shared how communication and learning is happening fast and in both directions:

Sender (brand or website) to receiver (customer).
Customer to brand or website.

Great and amazing point since it sounds like something we all do everyday - talk to each other. Online "talk to each other" is a tad different and that's where the rub is. We are trying to wrestle the pillars of this "bi-directional community" to the ground and would love your thoughts, ideas, comments and suggestions.

Feel like the more exposed we can make those bi-directional feedback loops the more FUN and relevant the community becomes. The game becomes learning how to get to the top fast and with your ethics and ego in tact....and good luck with that (lol).

Also, if you know great source material for the epistemological debate we are having please share. It feels like "community for idiots" is no longer relevant. Community is happening constantly and all over, so one key is to not STEP ON what is already happening. Another is to create an environment that is tribal and so reinforcing like Stack Overflow, HackerNews for the left brainer quants and and GPlus / Twitter for the right brainer creatives :).
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50 Great Content Curators

Ana Cristina Pratas makes a "joyful noise" with her amazing and inspirational #contentcuration . More than an #mustfollow +Ana Cristina Pratas is leading an army of educators as they tap the "deep learning" possibilities of content curation.

Ana Cristina is our 2nd great content curator after +Robin Good was profiled yesterday ( ). Tomorrow is my friend and fellow #cancersurvivor +Mark Traphagen.

Don't forget we are hiring 10 great content curators and we promise to work out how we will pay these critical team members soon (TY +T.W. Anderson ). Hope you will apply and share your favorite content curators and what you love about them.

Apply For +CrowdFunde Content Curation Position:

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I think it's a great project and look forward to hearing more soon. :-)
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Why CrowdFunde wants to PAY Content Curators
I spent 2013 giving away more than 10% of my net worth to try to cure cancer. We didn't get all the way up that hill...yet, but I don't regret spending the money to create one of the first #crowdfunding websites for cancer research.

In 2014 we are trying to create a new company called +CrowdFunde. CrowdFunde has been valued at $600,000 by +Triangle StartUp Factory's initial investment. We also already have 10 customers waiting for us to finish our tool (working furiously on it).

CrowdFunde needs Content Curators to help our customers understand content curation. We are looking to hire 10 content curators to help our 10 customers. We are also going to define how many customers we can help in 2014 and how we can help them (look for a pricing page soon). We think the total number of customers we will take on in 2014 will be less than 30.

We will probably arrange our pricing something like this:

CrowdFunde Tool & Reporting $$ a month (will be between $300 and $500) and we may add an additional 15 customers on top of the 10 we have. We would rather serve a few customers very deeply than a hundred poorly. Much of what we do now is in the experimental stage, so we must limit the customers we take on.

CrowdFunde Tool + Advanced SEO Reporting and Consulting $$$$ (this option will be between $1,000 and $5,000 a month based on options selected) and we may have the capacity to take on 5 of these customers in 2014.

CrowdFunde Tool + Embedded Team Option  $$$$$$ - This option is where we triage the account's online marketing problems and a member or members of our team lives with the client for at least a month and probably more like 3 months. We may have the capacity to take on 2 of these customers in 2014. Costs here are going to be $6K to $10K a month.

Our team is strong in #SEO #contentmarketing    #contentcuration and #branding . We see a need to hire 10 content curators to help our 10 beta partners understand content curation especially when key team members get embedded into a customer's company.

We haven't worked out compensation for our curators down to the hourly wage yet, but we plan to pay for the crucial work our content curators create. We know a considerable number of content curators, but we wanted to reach out to new people. We could have easily staffed all 10 positions with fiends from

We wanted to discover other great content curators.

Perhaps this was a mistake. At this stage it is hard for those outside of our vision to understand that we aren't twenty-somethings creating our first company. This is my 5th company, I'm 56 and have helped others make many millions online.

We are well capitalized and want to find great curators.

People who sacrifice and help others because they love curating content. We wanted to give those heroes JOBS, not jobs that paid a fortune but ones that recognized their value and contribution.

I have leukemia, and that is why I spent a year trying to give back, trying to repay a debt that can't be repaid. I worked for a year to say thank you to the many hard working doctors, researchers, nurses and administrators who've worked so hard to save my life. I'm not now nor will I EVER draw a salary from CrowdFunde!

I don't want to EVER take advantage of anyone. I have a deadly disease that takes advantage of me every now and again and I don't like it. We want to REWARD, HONOR and CHERISH the amazing talent that is required to be a great content curator.

I don't know if our content curators will ever get rich working for CrowdFunde, but they will before I will. When we build a company worth someone sliding a sizable check across the table my share of any such check will go to my 501c3 nonprofit Story of Cancer foundation.

If you are skeptical please don't apply.

If you love content curation and are interested in adding a new branch on that tree, one we can't fully define yet, we hope you will apply and consider walking with us for a bit as we learn WHATS NEXT.

I mentioned I'm a cancer survivor so you would know TIME is something I take VERY seriously. I also sense we have something very special by the tail. The more we work CrowdFunde the more it comes together. That's not always the case.

As I mentioned I've started 5 companies. If you've ever played with magnetic words on a fridge or locker you've played with one of the prodcuts from our most successful startup, a product we helped get to $50M in sales.

Instead of retiring I wanted to have a missing experience - creating a company, growing a company and then giving it over to those who helped create it or someone with a sizable check. This is my last dance.

I recognize, or try to, my limitations. One of those is health or lack of it. This is why +Phil Buckley and +Frank Pollock are working with me. Our team is far from set. We are getting great help from friends and NO ONE other than me is working for free nor will I ask anyone to do so.

CrowdFunde is an idea whose time has come - helping #SMBs create the wisdom of crowds influenced content marketing they need by developing a new idea we call "enterprise crowdfunding". The value of the tool, analytics and reporting will fill a HUGE gap - the gap between traffic generation and conversion, the gap between content type and conversion, the gap between brand advocate and conversion.

We understand the innate skepticism many have about "THE NEW" and have experienced that attitude frequently. We don't see such skepticism in our best content curating friends. They are open to THE NEW, curious and helpful. If you are curious and helpful we would like to meet and support you (even if we don't hire you).

Trust that no one will be asked to work for free (other than me) and we see these 10 content curators as our first critical hires. You can learn more here:

I can be reached at martin(at)

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Martin W. Smith

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We're Hiring Great Content Curators [ends soon]
April 15th change = we've removed the social contest and will look to hire 10 great content curators on strength of application, love for content curation and short Skype interview.


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2 comments at least ponders in your mind a little,especially if you dont get it!!!
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Martin W. Smith

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People Not Things Sell Online
This is a bit of a pet peeve. Prompted by a +DigitalOcean ad received via an email today I noticed a common approach - widetization of marketing. Widgets are cool. We love widgets, but we don't read heroic stories about them.

We read heroic stories about PEOPLE. People create the emotional connection and attention needed to sell online. DigitalOcean's ad had a great hook that got weaker and weaker the longer we thought about it.

Ouch, you want your online marketing to get stronger and stronger as people think about it. In this post I included a BEFORE and AFTER picture where a single idea was added to AFTER - a person named America McGee.

Adding America McGee makes the ad more believable, less like unsubstantiated marketing-speak and begins to build community. That last idea, building community, is the one the post spends considerable time discussing because we are all media companies in the community development business now whether we realize it or not.

Amazing what a single well placed HUMAN can do for online marketing...who knew :). M
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10 BI Trends For 2014 & 2015
Solid "enterprise" post by +TDWI got me thinking about the #BI (Business Intelligence) implications for +CrowdFunde customers. Here is their list and ours:

* Enterprise gets a handle on unstructured "Big Data".
* Search Will Improve Dramatically (agree).
* Mobility becomes bi-directional (you GET and GIVE via mobile).
* Enterprises come to terms with Big Data.
* Analytics Tools Vendors see importance of FAST and EASY.

CrowdFunde's Additions:

* New Key Performance Indicators helps connect traffic and lead gen to conversion (what we are working on at ).
* How Social Media is changing everything become more clear (less search, more mobile and social).
* Expect a new flurry of crowdsoure apps.
* Expect more gamification for engagement and loyalty.
* Loyalty becomes LESS fickle as brands discover how to BE online creating community that wins hearts, minds, engagement and loyalty.

Great comment from +Mark-John Clifford 
Great post +Martin W. Smith . I also see engagement the backbone to loyalty. The thing is to build the engagement and bring it to a higher standard to build and keep loyalty running

Importance of COMMUNITY
So the hardest thing I've ever done, and that includes 3 rounds of chemo, is building an online community. I love Mark-John Clifford's point about engagement because we see a natural trend that looks like this:

* You create content establishing a following and a voice.
* THEY (customers or community members) move in and share content creating the first pillars of community.
* You (site owner) hand keys over to the kids more and more looking to find the magical 1:9:90 rule (1% visitors contribute, 9% vote and support contributions from the 1% and 90% read).
* As THEIR voice mingles with yours engagement goes UP.
* Site owner and creators become content curators making sure community sees cool things, shaping but not controlling conversations and content and creating a rewards system.
* Final stage is #gamification that recognizes and provides social rewards (see my +jan gordon Curatti post about playing "Serious Business Games with +Phaedra Boinodiris ).

Not hard to see why creating effective, sustainable and sustaining community is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Pretty cool when it happens since the distance between YOU and THEM (customers, supporters, contributors) becomes paper thin.

Great comment as "engagement" is where we live now. Doubt that? Watch someone use their smartphone online for coffee. Free time is all but DEAD as we seek the never ending experience, the game that never stops :). M
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Geez +Mark-John Clifford doesn't get more insider than you (and sorry to hear that btw). Any day HERE talking about ANYTHING ROCKS is my thinking :). Marty
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*Playing Serious Games With Author Phaedra Boinondiris*|
Great talk at +Triangle StartUp Factory today by #gamification author +Phaedra Boinodiris now LIVE on Curatti:
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Profiling 50 Great Content Curators
When we share our list of favorite content curators the post tends to blow up. Since we are looking to HIRE 10 great content curators ( ) we thought it would be a great idea to profile our Top 50 Content Curators starting with +Robin Good

Find Curator Profiles Here

What about you?
Do you have favorite G+ curators we should be sure to add? Let us know who you love to follow and why and we will curate your suggestions into our list of great #contentcurators .
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Thanks +Eric Walker. Marty 
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How I Became The Most Followed Nobody In Finland
I don't believe for a moment +Jaana Nyström was ever a "nobody", but I respect a solid hook when I read it. Speaking of reading everyone interested in  #socialmediamarketing and #personalbranding (and that should be 100% lol), should read this great post by a fantastic #contentcurator #contentmarketer and far from a "nobody" Jaana Nystrom. Note particularly Jaana's love for G+ since every piece of research I've done backs her direct experience. A #mustread

cc. +Mark Traphagen +Phil Buckley +David Amerland 
Fresh from the blog:
A nobody can become somebody on Google+

- Even an obscure Finn. :-)

Read on...  Some exciting news...

+Gplus Expertise +Gplussa +Finland Explorer +Travel Pro Tips +Outward Bound Finland +Buffer +RebelMouse +Carol Dodsley +GPlus Professionals +Martin W. Smith

#Jaanatip     #Googleplus   #GplusProfessionals  
A life changer! After receiving an invitation to join Google+ in June 29, 2011 I've never looked back. There was just something in this platform that swept me off my feet: I decided already in August that year that Google+ wi...
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+Martin W. Smith Very Meta! :D
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Have him in circles
2,986 people
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Founder, Story of Cancer Foundation, 501c3 nonprofit developing innovative technoogy to cure cancer in our lifetime.
Seach Engine Marketing (SEM), content marketing, content curation, gamification, blogging, email marketing, cause marketing, video marketing, writing, blue ocen strategy, creative strategic planning
  • CrowdFunde
    Founder, 2914 - present
    CrowdFunde is our Triangle Startup Factory accepted mashup smashing crowdfunding and content marketing together to create an engine of high quality User Generated Content (UGC) and social shares.
  • Story of Cancer Foundation
    Founder, 2013 - 2014
    Created one of first crowdfunding websites for cancer research launched December 2013. Created
  • Atlantic BT - Marketing Director
    Content Marketer, Internet Marketer, 2011 - 2013
    Doubled traffic to with content marketing, contests, games and social media. I
  • ScentTrail E-Commerce
    President, 2010 - 2011
    interviewed startup entrepreneurs including Jesse Lipson immediately before his $50M sale of ShareFIle to Citrix and Chris Hievly now running Triangle Startup Factory.
  • Townsend Enterprises
    Director E-Commerce, 2002 - 2010
    Managed team that beat sales and profit goals for 7 years contributing more than $30M topline dropping more than $5M to the bottom line.
    Founder, 1994 - 2002
    Created one of the first B2B and B2C websites helping Magnetic Poetry Kit, a specialty gift, become a $50M gift.
  • NutraSweet
    Marketing & Sales Director, 1989 - 1994
    P&L responsibility for $22M dairy business where we set sales and product launch reacords for three years.
  • M&M/Mars
    Unit Manager, 1982 - 1989
    Managed team that sold "World's Largest Snickers Bar Display" setting off a competition and helping Midwest region to win a major sales contest.
  • Procter & Gamble
    Sales Rep, 1981 - 1982
    Learned to sell the P&G way: Situational Summary, State The Idea, Explains How It Works and Share the Benefits.
  • Vassar College
    Assistant Director Admissions, 1980 - 1981
    Traveled across America interviewing perspective college students and pitching Vassar.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Greenwich - Chicago - Buffalo - Kansas - PA - Chapel Hill
Internet Marketer, content curator and writer who loves fishing blue oceans online.
Where do we find the ART of our lives?

I found mine creating my first website (non RIP sadly) in 1999. Those were heady times. So few businesses, brands and people were online all oceans were blue, untouched and full of possibilities.

Today all oceans are red made so by furious competition tinged with a growing since of desperation. Marketing and sales feels changed, gone and swept away. Somehow we miss our complicity.

Art is always closer than we know. An unexpected winter snow's quiet, a dog's pant or a cat's purr, our children's laugh and Picasso's smiles are there quiet, real and authentic. Our digital revolution is so much more and less than we recognize. More because connection creates empathy with trust and love following along.

Once LOVE is in the room oceans turn blue and our time is now.
Bragging rights
Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer ( a bicycle across America raising $27K for cancer research summer 2010.
  • Vassar College
    Psychology, 1976 - 1980
  • Choate School
    Prep School, 1973 - 1976
Basic Information
Other names
Martin W. Smith, Martin Marty Smith, ScentTrail, Marty Smith, ScentTrail Marketing, Martin's Ride, Story of Cancer
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
Martin W. Smith's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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