News: An impact of the economic crisis – The AM Best EFusion Conference has been moved to a virtual platform, which means a series of Webinars. The plan is to use Wednesdays in October and November to handle the Finalist presentations (some really good stuff as usual) as well as the presentations by the speakers. I’m scheduled for Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Eastern time for my piece on…

Is the Web Out of Control?: Social networking, instant communications, blogging:

They’re all important but huge threats to corporate security and consistent delivery of strategy. Managed poorly, these technologies can become strains on productivity.

Hear how companies use communication technology to their advantage and reach customers they might never have otherwise.

In association with Charles Wasilewski, The van Aartrijk Group

This will be good. I’d prefer the in-person format, but I’m a people-person, so that’s me! But in reality, more people will be able to participate this way, so that’s the main thing – education. Really encourage you to attend these events – cutting-edge stuff.

Next: Last month, had the pleasure of spending some time with Sara Holoubek, Consultant and Aspiring Luminary, in NYC for a cup of coffee at Taralucci’s off Union Square. Sara will be moderating the opening panel discussion at PIMA’s MarkeTTech Symposium on the how to engage with the social Web in an era of “Pull Marketing”. Can’t wait. In the picture below, notice the brown paper placemat under her coffee cup? By the end of the hour, it was covered with great wisdom. I grabbed it as an artifact for my office, autograph and all. If only I could make sense of it now?!?!

(Click on the picture to see more pics from my time in NYC, as well as Philly before that.)

Photo by Frits Abell, Progress Partners

Photo by Frits Abell, Progress Partners – Perfect shot!

Matrix White Paper: I finished the Matrix-driven Web site White Paper if anyone is interested in a deeper dive into the insurance technology underlying ftj.com. Thanks to Jaimie Polak, Mary Fisher, and Kendra McComb. Great stuff and perhaps the next generation of Affinity Sites. Working on another one right now and have three other potential projects in budget review.

Budgets: Tis the season, right? Here’s my plug for shifting dollars from traditional marketing to Web marketing. Here’s the thing: Everyone knows the economy stinks right now. Costs are high – gas, food, energy, travel. It’s like this tornado that’s spinning everything upward and out of control. And we also know that everyone is using the Web in some form or fashion. And we’re all starting to do more and more things on our own with the assistance (or not) of Web-based tools and information. So I might be out in left field on this, but doesn’t it make sense to do more stuff online? As an insurance company or marketer, DON’T RUN AROUND YOUR OFFICE WITH YOUR FINGERS IN YOUR EARS SHOUTING, “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!!! I can’t hear YOU!” Just get in the game. Start doing stuff. Do a Blog, a team Blog, start a community, start a wiki, do a series of Webinars – IF NOTHING ELSE, DO IT INTERNAL. The best way to understand something is to DO IT. Once again, I’ll push Groundswell – great primary on the immediate next steps you might consider for your Web presence. Of course, IdeaStar is not the be-all-end-all of this kind of insurance technology and Web marketing tools and techniques, but it’s probably a pretty good bet that we are miles ahead of IT departments and a much safer guide through the maze. Let me know if I can help.