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Ralph M. Rivera
Works at Web.Search.Social
Attended College of Mount Saint Vincent
Lives in Holmdel, New Jersey
1,023 followers|190,294 views
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Ralph M. Rivera

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In today's shorter-than-usual episode, we start out by thanking one of our listeners - +Nadia Bracken  - for delighting us with a gift recently. She sent us a tea brewer, the kind that lets you set the right temperature for the perfect cup of tea. Thank you, Nadia, for bringing the perfect hotness and lots of smiles into our day!

We were too busy drinking tea to talk much today, but we did manage a quick follow up to our recent conversation about annoying automated marketing. But instead of just talking email marketing, we talk Jehovah's Witnesses. Trust me, it makes total sense!

Enjoy!
Today we talk about aggressive, persistent marketing with Ian Anderson Gray. It starts with email marketing and digresses to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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I thought they had all been raptured a few months ago....  Havent seen them come to the door and giving me a bible for at least 8 weeks..


I retire over a three tea period..  Would be nice getting someone to make it!
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On this episode, Ralph M. Rivera of Rahvalor Interactive joins us to discuss how marketers can get more done in less time, using the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology.
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via +Alisa Meredith 
Reflecting the way users are using the platform, Pinterest prioritizes promoted pin advertising support.
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The brilliant +Ian Anderson Gray is brilliantly brilliant in this hysterical piece.
Want to become a social media guru? Then follow the tips in this guide! If you'd like to be effective however, just do the opposite!
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We talk about the manufactured outrage over Starbucks' red holiday cup, a thing we're calling "outrage fatigue" and why businesses need to beware the outrage bandwagon. Plus which clients should you send gifts to? And how much should you spend?
We talk about Starbucks' red holiday cup, manufactured outrage and a thing we call outrage fatigue. Plus, how do you choose holiday gifts for your clients?
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Today Is All Geek (And Rebel) All The Time

You may recall a couple of episodes ago we called upon the Army of Fred to tweet a few people who we wanted to have as guests on the show. Well, one of those was +Sarah TheRebel  and thanks to YOUR efforts she’s here!

Sarah is an author, podcaster, gamer and all around geek.

But what makes her a rebel? Well, you’ll have to listen for the back story but she confesses to not following the “rules” of social media or doing any of the conventional things that your average marketer might tell someone to do. Fits right in with our mantra to challenge the status quo.

The Entrepreneurial Journey Starts With A Bang

We asked Sarah how her journey began and she told us she’s been mentally writing a book since she was ten years old and has always wanted to write. But she didn’t actually write much for a long time. Instead she moved out to Los Angeles and started working for a video game company, managing writers for a gaming website where ultimately she wanted to write for video games.

And that worked out well for a while until one day she got a call from Marvel to write a book. If you think we’re skipping a few steps… we’re not. It was just that sudden. According to Sarah there was no gradual buildup toward her dream. One day she was working and the next day she was asked to author Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified.

What does she attribute her good fortune to? Well, following her passions, for one. Instead of staying on the east coast dreaming about doing something, she saved a little money, packed her bags and took off. For another, she networked the heck out of L.A. She went to events and meetups and connected with people however and wherever she could. Passion plus drive equals fortune.
True story: when Sarah got the call from Marvel, she had a moment to think, “Me? You must be looking for another Sarah.”

Sarah Disses Game Of Thrones

We take a brief detour to discuss a comment Sarah made about how she no longer likes Game of Thrones. I think she’s lost her mind so I challenge her to explain. And she has a point… she says that it’s one thing to read about the craziness and use your imagination, and another to see it in vivid color images on the screen. As a self-described feminist, she doesn’t appreciate the violence against women.

When it comes to the last season, I tend to agree. It seems more like a writer sitting in a room asking, “What would George R.R. Martin do?” as opposed to what George R.R. Martin would actually do. Sarah agrees, so we’re friends again.
She also says that the book doesn’t translate the same way onto the screen so that begs the age-old question: which is better? The book or the show?

After The Shock Settled

Once Sarah came to terms with her imminent fame, she jumped right in. Except what she learned was that when it came to starting such a project, a lot of it involved long stretches of sitting around waiting. She had a list of 80 people (yikes!) to interview and they were typically busy on the set of Agent Carter. Unable to do much but wait, she did. By the time she’d managed to interview everyone on the show, her three month project had dwindled to one, which was all the time she had left to write the actual book.

How did she manage? Well, for a two week period she worked during the day, got home at 8PM and then wrote from then until 10AM when she went back to work all over again. Sleep? Sarah laughed at sleep! Or maybe that was just the hysteria of being awake for two weeks.
Sarah And Marvel Get In A Fist Fight

With a BAM and a POW! Ok, it wasn’t as dramatic as all that but she’s a superhero, right?

As Sarah reminds us, Agent (Peggy) Carter is a story with a feminist slant. It’s a story revolving around sexism in the workplace but the editors of the book didn’t want Sarah to say the words sexism or feminism in the book. Ever. And it turned into a problem at some point when Sarah’s principles clashed with the editorial staff’s requirements. There were things she refused to change and that turned into a bit of a ruckus. No fist fights, though.

In the end, Sarah refused to make the change but the editors made it
for her. She assumes they won’t be asking her to write again.
But the experience reminded her that she could write and led her to more writing gigs, including writing for video games. As a result she achieved her two big life goals: write a book and write for a video game.

Remember, passion plus drive equals fortune.

Superheroes (And Rebels) Win The Day

Sarah is currently working on her next big thing: a book called Avarice Touched that she’s co-authoring with her geek-minded cousin. As of this recording, they’re 300 pages in and “not near the end.” We anxiously await the publication!

Of course, if this all sounds rather idyllic, Sarah assures us that it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. She had lot of really tough times, too, from numerous brushes with homelessness to losing friends to becoming very ill. But if her story proves anything, it’s that in spite of all the down times, being a creative entrepreneur can be tons of fun.
Your Action Item

Start. Don’t feel like you have to hurry up and achieve your goals NOW, especially when things aren’t going well and you start to think you’re a failure. But as long as you believe in what you’re doing, the universe will make sure you get what you’re supposed to get out of it. The hardest thing about doing something is… well, doing it. But once you get started it becomes a whole lot easier. So get past that and DO IT. Start. Start now, wherever you are personally and professionally. Take your destiny in your hands and make it happen.
We talk to Sarah The Rebel, author of Marvel's Agent Carter: Season One Declassified about her entrepreneurial journey, the fun and challenges.
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As an entrepreneur you’re always going to be dealing with time issues, namely lack of it. Time sucks come in many forms, from big crises like death or health problems, to small ones like spam or unsolicited emails. But how do you deal with them?

This episode features the new "Voice of Web.Search.Social" Helen Gray as well as "Chief Executive Helen's Husband Officer" +Ian Anderson Gray's Seriously Social Moment.
Time sucks come in many forms, from big crises like death or health problems, to small ones like spam or unsolicited emails. But how do you deal with them?
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+Kate Ahl is a Pinterest expert who helps bloggers reach their audience. We spoke to her for nearly an hour but what we did NOT talk about was... Pinterest! Because her story is much more interesting - namely, how she started her business, how she ended up in her niche, how she makes it all work and what it takes to build a loyal customer base even in a crowded space. Great stuff from a smart businesswoman!
Kate Ahl built a business as a Pinterest expert for bloggers. We talk about how she did it and whether we really need another Pinterest person.
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Our First Episode Of 2016!
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Yes, we took a longer hiatus than expected but we’re back, we’re caffeinated and we’ve got lots to talk about.

This is part after-hours and part business so grab a cup of your favorite Simpson & Vail tea and join us as we talk about meditation, the whirlwind and lessons learned from having a gun pointed in our faces.

Why Are We Here?
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Since it’s been a while we decided to reintroduce the purpose of our podcast, especially as we look forward to a new year ahead. Since the beginning of our podcast we’ve talked mostly about marketing but toward the last half of 2015 we shifted to talk more about business. And that’s what we want to continue doing in 2016.

We want to focus on business because as an entrepreneur your business is part of your life. It intertwines with your family, your health, your lifestyle. It affects how you think and how you feel and the decisions you make. So ultimately our podcast is about taking on the challenges of having a business and a whole life.

Here’s what we don’t want to do: give you the same stuff you can hear anywhere. How to get more Twitter followers. What to do about Pinterest or Facebook or growing your email list. We want to dig deep into what makes a business run and challenge common assumptions that can lead you down a dead end or keep you stuck in neutral.

We look at this podcast as part of the journey. We don’t know everything. But we keep learning and growing and that’s what we want to do with you. We want you to be part of our journey, and we want to be part of yours. Think of this podcast as a conversation between entrepreneurs. We’re glad you’re listening and we’re here to listen if you want to share your questions or stories or challenges, too.

Email, Skype, text, send smoke signals… let us know what your journey is like. Together we can learn and grow together.

Need To Decompress? Listen To The Mystic Show
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Before we get started on today’s topics, we want to shout out to our friend Chris Curran who hosts the ever-popular Social Media Unscrambled podcast, and who also has another podcast called The Mystic Show. It’s all about getting out of the whirlwind of your life and business, taking a moment to pause, eliminate the distractions and be calm and tranquil.

Take it from someone whose brain is constantly in a spin – that show is soothing and worth a listen. From the music to Chris’s voice to the topics of conversation, it gives you a little haven in a stormy day.
And Now, Caffeine

There’s no question that caffeine – specifically in the form of coffee – is pretty much central to most business people’s existence.
But what Ralph has found after switching from coffee to tea is that he doesn’t quite need that caffeine jolt anymore to get through a day. He suggests that for many people coffee has become a substitute for sleep.

Is caffeine leading to more people being in the whirlwind? Do you sometimes grab a cup of coffee and find yourself on the go-go-go?
We wonder if feeling amped up is just creating the illusion that we’re getting things done. Remember, busy does not equal productive! “Doing stuff” and feeling wide awake doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being effective.

Letting go of caffeine is hard. It can kind of feel like a detox. You’ll probably think something is wrong because you’re so used to being caffeinated that “normal” will feel like an oddity.
Same thing with sugar. You know how you grab a donut or a handful of M&Ms and you’re ready to go, but a little while later…. YAWN! So you get another candy bar or Danish and you’re energetic again… until the next crash.

Before I ditched sugar a few months ago I was constantly tired. I’d feel great after my chocolate chip pancakes but a few hours later I’d need a nap in the worst way. There’s no doubt that taking better care of myself has completely changed my energy levels and productivity.
Both Ralph and I have also added meditation to our daily routine – fifteen or twenty minutes a day of sitting. Just sitting. Not making notes or washing dishes. Not planning for tomorrow or running dinner menus over in our heads. And that has led to better sleep, which also contributes to feeling better and being better.

Just the same way you can get into a downward spiral of less energy, less motivation and less productivity, you can also get into an upward spiral. The better you are to yourself, the better you are, period.
Relax!

What do you do to relax? Maybe more to the point, how do you define relaxing?
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Sometimes you’ve just got to “waste time.” The kind where you sit on the couch and channel surf for hours. In my case, I spend hours playing Freecell on my phone.

But sometimes you can relax by doing things other than work – anything, really, even if it’s “productive”. The point is to take your mind (and body) away from work and its stresses and do something else.
I actually find cleaning my house relaxing. When I’m completely stressed out the first thing I do is start cleaning. It’s kind of habitual. In fact, one of my most favorite Christmas gifts this year was a new vacuum. Yeah, I’m at that age.

But seriously, running my new, fabulous vacuum over the floor and experiencing that satisfaction of a clean house is very relaxing for me. So as you think about how to spend your “relaxing” time, don’t be afraid to do nothing – or something!
Ralph And Carol Lynn Go To The Movies

We’ve seen a bunch of movies recently – well, to be honest, we see a bunch of movies all the time! But a couple we’ve seen specifically got us thinking about what makes for good storytelling.

First up is The Martian. We both read and loved the book. We had a split decision on the movie – Ralph loved it but I thought it was a drab retelling of a great book.

Next is The Hateful Eight. We both really enjoyed that one. We’re huge Quentin Tarantino fans.

Third is In The Heart Of The Sea. Ralph loved every page of the book. I haven’t read it yet. But we both hated the movie.

Finally, Star Wars. We both very much enjoyed the latest movie and agree that we very much didn’t enjoy the prequels.
So what made the difference between a great story and one we wanted to walk out on?

The answer turns out to be pretty simple. The best stories were a collaborative effort between the director, screenwriter, actors and others on the team. The ones that failed were missing that element.
With Star Wars especially, it’s easy to pick out which films were a collaboration and which ones George Lucas went off to tell on his own. (Hint: the generally agreed-to-be-best movie, Empire Strikes Back, was collaborative. The prequels were not.)

The takeaway? You may not, in fact, be the best person to tell your own story! Does that fly in the face of everything you’ve been told? The thing is, you need to be part of the story and you need to be part of the telling. But if you work on the telling with someone else, you may find that your story becomes stronger.

Collaborating with someone – whether you’ve hired that person or they’re a friend, colleague or someone inside your business – can bring a brand new perspective. Another person can ask questions that bring out new angles and help you see and share your story in a whole new way.

We also recently saw The Revenant. Ralph loved it but I was bored to death. Yet we both agree that it was a visually beautiful movie and well told. Our takeaway? Not all storytelling methods will appeal to everyone. Ralph enjoyed the visual storytelling. I didn’t. So as a business owner you may need to tell your story in different ways to appeal to different people.

Your First Seriously Social Moment Of 2016
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Do tools solve your problems? Ian Anderson Gray wants to know!
But he says that before you start looking at tools you need to figure out what you want to accomplish. Make a list of what tasks you want to automate or get help with. Then make a short list of the tools that can help you with your top priorities. Chances are no one tool will fit the bill so you’ll probably find yourself using a selection of tools. But remember, it’s not about the tool – it’s about what the tool can help you do.

Social Gaming…

We’ve recently become addicted? Obsessed? With a game called Ingress. It is an “augmented-reality massively multiplayer online location-based game”, or MMO for short. And since that’s a heck of a mouthful, the easiest way to think of it is as an online, social and worldwide game of Capture the Flag.

The premise is that “exotic matter”, aka XM, is leaking into the world at various portals. The portals are imaginary but they are located at real places, including businesses, markers and places of historical significance.

As a result, humanity has been divided into two factions – the Resistance and the Enlightened. Your job is to visit the portals and take them over for your faction. Once you take over a portal, you can then link portals together to create fields. Whatever geographic area is under your field is then controlled by your faction and that gets you points.

There’s no winning and losing – it’s just a matter of who has more portals and fields and points.

What makes this game unique is that it is truly social. You can’t play it from your computer or your desk. You can only interact with a portal by going to its physical location.

And you can’t be effective at the game by yourself. You will never have the power or resources that you need unless you collaborate with other people.

So it’s been a lot of fun playing and meeting people along the way. By the way, if you want to give the game a shot, ask us for an invitation! You don’t need one, but if you join via our invitation we get in-game rewards (yah!) And in case you were wondering, we play on the side of the Enlightened.

We’ve learned a couple of things as a result of playing the game, not least of which is how to navigate our own town. After years of relying on the GPS to tell us when to turn left or right, we’re finally figuring out where things are and how to get there on our own.

We’re also picking up a lot of history. For example, we learned that our town of Holmdel used to be called Hornet’s Nest.

Funny thing about that history lesson, though. We learned it at gunpoint.

…And Lessons Learned At Gunpoint

After blowing a tire out while playing the game last weekend, we had an even more intense adventure this weekend as we searched for a landmark called the Hornet’s Nest. It was dark, and we were traveling down a rather suburban, narrow and winding road into the middle of nowhere. We could see on the in-game GPS that we were right near the portal we were looking for, but couldn’t quite access it.

So we turned down another even narrower and more winding road that dropped off on one side into a ravine below. A car was coming slowly in the other direction, with barely enough room to pass, so we rolled down our window to ask if it was a one way street.

The woman in the car looked at us and said, “No. It’s my driveway. This is my house.”

Whoops.

She told us to back out and then left. But it was dark and the driveway was narrow, and remember that part about one side plunging into a ravine? So instead of backing out we drove to the top, turned around at the garage and drove out. By then we were completely lost so we pulled over in front of the driveway to get our bearings, when we saw a man jogging down the driveway towards us.

So Ralph rolled down his window and the man proceeded to snap a photo of us, snap a photo of the front of the car, snap a photo of the rear of the car and then pulled out a gun and pointed it at us through the window.

Since we’re still alive to tell the tale, you might guess it worked out in the end but there were a few tense moments as we tried to explain that no, we were not casing his house and were actually playing a game and looking for a portal called the Hornet’s Nest. Which sounds kind of ridiculous when you say it out loud.

Ralph defused the situation by apologizing profusely and agreeing that we shouldn’t have been in the driveway. Ultimately we all sort of chuckled over it and the man asked us for a ride back to his house.
Just to give you an idea of how long this driveway was, we got a whole history lesson on the Revolutionary War and the naming of the town on the way up.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this story is that even as we were staring down the wrong end of the gun, both Ralph and I had the same thought: we totally understood why this guy was pointing it at us. Neither of us thought he was wrong about it or crazy. We knew he was a guy scared by some people hanging out in his driveway who had freaked his wife out only a few minutes ago.

So what does that mean in the grander scheme of things…
Actually, a lot. Plenty of days we find ourselves staring down the metaphorical barrel of a gun. It could be an annoying client. Or a difficult situation. Or a disagreement with a friend or business partner.

And we can choose to escalate, to be confrontational and risk something worse. Or we can put ourselves in the position of the other person, empathize and disarm them.

The next time you find yourself butting heads with someone, try understanding. Try being humble and admitting when you’re wrong. Try an apology. Most importantly, try kindness. It’s one of your most powerful weapons and can disarm even the most savage beast if you try hard enough. Just pretend there’s a gun in your face.
Get out of the whirwind, learn to relax and be more productive. Plus how to tell a better business story and why empathy wins over confrontation.
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BEEETTTEEERRR!!!!!

Instead of aiming to be the best, how about simply seeking "better"? We talk to Terry LancasterTerry Terry ​ about how to build good habits for business, fitness and life by taking small, simple actions every day.
We talk to Terry Lancaster about how to build good habits for business, fitness and life by taking small, simple actions every day.
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Another great show with +Jason T. Wiser  featuring SEO genius and possible cyborg from the future +Mark Traphagen 
Mark Traphagen, David Amerland and Donart Nummer help us make a more informed decision about comment systems. Each of our panelists will give 3 important facts about “comment best practices specific to SEO and the Semantic Web” that we need to know.
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I thought your nanobots would manage upgrades for you while you were in the "field" +Mark Traphagen 
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The Myth Of The Internet

Today we want to talk about getting paid and how to do it. But it seems like we’re running uphill because there is a myth perpetrated by internet culture that before you can expect to get paid for anything you first have to give away a lot of stuff for free.
This doesn’t seem to be a problem in the real world. When a contractor comes to our house he never offers to paint the bedroom for free and then if we like it he’ll think about charging us to paint the living room.
So why is this so prevalent on the internet? Well, we’re not entirely sure except to speculate that it worked for someone. And that person then told everyone else to do it, and like the echo chamber that the internet can be, everyone just… did.
We've been brainwashed to think that the way to make money is by giving stuff away for free. Use these ideas to get paid what you’re worth instead.
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Work
Occupation
Marketing & creative services for web, search and social.
Skills
marketing, web development
Employment
  • Web.Search.Social
    Co-founder, Principal, present
  • Rahvalor Interactive
    Co-founder, Principal, present
  • Manhattan College
    Professor, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Holmdel, New Jersey
Previously
Riverdale, New York
Contact Information
Work
Phone
(732) 615-0842
Email
Story
Tagline
I love marketing and code.
Introduction
Marketing professional focused on branding, web, search & social marketing. Web developer, writer & web design teacher.
Bragging rights
I've been in the marketing and communications business for nearly a quarter century.
Education
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
    Communication, 1989 - 1992
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
When we hired GROUNDS KEEPER to be the snow removal contractor for our community at The Woods at Holmdel, Jay assured us that the experience would be easy and trouble-free. He promised to always be prepared, to have a supervisor on site at all times and to make sure the job was done well. A lot of people make promises, but Jay delivered. I've been on the Board of Directors for my homeowner's association for 15 years and the year that we hired Jay was the first year that we didn't get a single homeowner complaint all season. Considering how much snow and ice we got, that's a tremendous accomplishment. To say he "did the job well" would be an understatement. Making 119 families happy is no small feat. Jay is also knowledgeable about how to prepare and plan, so we could rely on him for guidance about what to do during a snow event. There's no way to really know what the weather will do – whether it will warm up, cool down, ice over, turn to rain, snow a lot or only a little. But Jay's experience always led us in the best direction for our community. He's able to make good decisions on the fly based on his assessment of any given situation and we've been pleased with the results of following his advice. Jay and his team proved to be reliable, dependable, thorough and to always do an excellent job. For the first time in 15 years, I spent a winter without dreading the inevitable angry homeowner phone call. I'd recommend the GROUNDS KEEPER team to any property in need of snow removal. You won't find someone more committed to integrity and excellence than Jay.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
I've worked with Bill Kugelman on a number of business issues and he has impressed me each time with his knowledge, patience and thoroughness. He created and negotiated the shareholder agreement for our new business venture, working with us to come to amenable terms for all four shareholders. He has also worked with us on Terms of Service documentation as well as advised us on issues of trademarks and patents. Bill is easy to work with and always takes time to discuss our questions and concerns. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge when it comes to issues affecting businesses and I appreciate that he takes time to educate me and make sure I understand how things will impact my business. I trust my business's legal matters to Bill and I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
2 reviews
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