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Pre-Review Article: What Would Rob Do by Rob Sachs

Jun 3rd, 2010 Posted in Article | no comment »

Those who know me, know that my fiance’s name is Rob. Those who don’t know me know it now!  :) Rob is the love of my life, the man of my dreams…..OK, quit making the gagging noises, I’m stopping now.

When I got the opportunity to review the book What Would Rob Do by Rob Sachs, I was so excited. This Sachs dude must be pretty cool. He’s got a GREAT name! I’m almost ready to start the book, so I wanted to get you excited by reading this article by Rob….no, not mine….Mr. Sachs.


Forget Someone’s Name? What Would Rob Do?
By Rob Sachs,
Author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life’s Daily Indignities

When nobody else has been around to help out, I’ve also tried getting someone to talk about her own name. I’d say something like, “I used to get made fun of all the time when I was little because people would call me names like ‘Saxophone’ or ‘Sexy Sachs’ or ‘Rob my sacks of cats.'” (Okay, nobody ever used the last one.) After sharing my story, I’d ask if she ever got teased, hoping she will give me a funny story that I can use to remember her name. Or sometimes I’d inquire, “What did your family call you when you were little?” Hopefully, it won’t be Princess.

If you’re not so good at face-to-face reconnaissance, there are less invasive methods for procuring names. In college I used to peek in backpacks, binders, notebooks, or anything that might have a name written on it. Now you can use social Web sites like Facebook or MySpace to see if you can figure out who somebody is through your circle of friends. You can also befriend someone who is really good with names and have him act as your personal Rolodex. Another “more advanced” technique is to challenge a person to a rap battle. The trick is to begin your rhyme with the words, “My name is . . .  ” Mine goes something like this:

My name is Rob,
I’m on the job
And though I eat with my hands,
I ain’t no slob.

Then tell her it’s her turn and she needs to follow the same format. Sit back and wait for her to give up the goods.

These tricks don’t always fly in a work setting (though it would be fun to rap battle with some of my coworkers). There are times when the easiest thing to do is to come clean about forgetting someone’s name. Within the first thirty seconds of talking to someone, it’s okay to say, “I’m an idiot and I’ve forgotten your name.” If you’re not feeling self-deprecating, a simple “Oh, remind me of your name again?” will do as well. Letting a conversation go longer than five minutes without saying that makes you not only an idiot but a jerk, since the person you’re talking to thinks you’ve been duping him the whole conversation.

My career at NPR has taken me from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles and back to D.C. I knew there would be a lot of people I’d recognize but whose names I’d forget. To get some new tricks for the workplace, I called memory expert Harry Lorayne. He holds memory seminars all the time and has a full line of memory-related products. He was at first reluctant to talk to me, since people usually pay a lot of money to get the information he gives. Fortunately, I got him to open up on my specific problem of forgetting names, and he gave me a few hints.

He said that most of the names we forget are ones we never heard in the first place. Many times when people tell us their names, we’re not really paying attention. When you hear someone say his or her name, you have to flag it in your brain as a vital piece of information. Lorayne recommended repeating the name right away to try to commit it to memory.

Let’s say you’re meeting me. I’ll say, “Hi, my name is Rob Sachs.” You can first verify that you heard it being pronounced the right way. Say it back to me. “Rob Sachs, is that correct?” Second, you can make a quick association with the name, or start talking about it in the conversation. Ask if Sachs has any relation to Saks Fifth Avenue or Goldman Sachs. (There is none, by the way.) The more you talk about the name right away, the more likely you are to remember it.

Another possibility is to try to associate someone’s name with one of his physical characteristics. For instance, if you meet someone named Ben Green and you notice he has green eyes, you can repeat that in your head. Ben Green with the green eyes. Ben who has eyes that are green. Ben’s last name is Green. My trick for remembering a name like Mikhail Gorbachev would be to think of the red splotch on his head as being gory. “Gory splotch” sounds like “Gorbachev.” This might be a stretch, but it can work. The idea is to have a visual cue that correlates to the name.

Lorayne said another great thing to do is to use the name as often as you can over the course of your conversation. Try to eliminate all pronouns and just say the person’s name instead, while always being careful not to say the name too much, since that can be a little creepy. “So Rob, what do you think about the weather? How about those Phillies, Rob? Rob, what brings you here?” I’ve tried this out, and to my amazement, it works. People also appreciate hearing their own name, because it makes them feel you care about them, or are a thoughtful person.

Harry Lorayne is a pro at this. He can repeat the names of a whole roomful of people he’s just met. He told me that if you practice a lot and work on it, over time you will get better at it. These techniques have already started to help me in the office, though I still have one more trick. If I didn’t catch someone’s name or have forgotten it, I now go to the new searchable online database of NPR employees that contains everyone’s picture from their photo ID. It’s my own little office facebook, and I’ve lost more than a few hours of productivity studying it.
The above is an adapted excerpt from the book What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life’s Daily Indignities by Rob Sachs. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2010 Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life’s Daily Indignities

Author Bio
Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life’s Daily Indignities, has spent the last ten years as a producer, reporter, and director for NPR shows, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Tell Me More. He created the podcast What Would Rob Do? in 2006 and serves as its host.

For more information, please visit
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Real Time Web for Old Time Books: The Benefit of Social Media for Publisher and Authors By Fauzia Burke

Feb 18th, 2010 Posted in Article | 2 comments »
Real Time Web was coined to describe online activities in real time — from status updates on Facebook, to microblogging on Twitter to uploading photos and videos on other social media sites. With the ease of mobile devices like iPhones, this type of communication has grown tremendously in 2009. Now Google (video) is offering the power of real time web searching to millions everyday. Although you may cringe when considering the personal implication of searching your updates and Twitter feeds, you can’t deny the benefits to publicity and marketing.

According to Nielsen, social media and blogs are now more popular than email. As marketers, this presents us with a great opportunity. Reader engagement is not only important in today’s market, it is essential. Although your web site is important, a savvy marketer knows that a page on Facebook is even more important for interacting with fans and potential readers. With Google and Bing now offering real time search results, the ease, power and speed of sharing information is changing before our eyes. Word of mouth has never been shared faster or more easily.  It is important to remember that social media is public communication, you probably should never share personal information, comments or thoughts you don’t want spread. But you can’t simply ignore what investors are calling a new Web Revolution.

By staying off of Twitter and Facebook as a marketer you are not only missing out on community building, but you are also unaware of the conversations taking place about you, your books, and your competition. Real time search results are changing the speed at which a conversation spreads online. It is more important than ever to manage brand and reputation on social media sites. Content is streaming live with or without your blessing.

Some fantastic sites that offer good information on Twitter conversations are Topsy which shows how many people retweeted you. For example, if you do a topsy search on my name you’d see that my HuffPost blog about Facebook was retweeted 118 times, others were not as popular. Sency allows you to search topics and conversations, and Dailyrt allows you to track what is important to people right now.

These tools can allow you to stay on top of messaging. For marketing and publicity people, it can give you fresh ideas and leads for more exposure. For editors, it may give you ideas for your next book project and for authors it can most certainly show you what’s important to your readers right now. Opinions are being shared online and in real time, and now through searches we can find them and notice trends and measure excitement.

Today if you do a search for Oprah on Google, the search results will include social media results, which means you can see what people said about Oprah a minute ago (see midway down). If that doesn’t inspire awe (and a little fear) in you, I would be amazed.

Conversations are happening online in real time and now these conversations are being tracked, measured and searched. By becoming part of the community and paying attention to the dialogue around you, I believe your marketing efforts will benefit greatly this year and in the years to come. Real Time Web is becoming the norm — there are tons of apps and programs coming that will make it easier for us to know what people are saying, where they are gathering, and what they are reading in real time.

© 2010 Fauzia Burke
Author Bio
Fauzia Burke photo Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, an Internet marketing firm specializing in creating online awareness for books and authors. For more information, please visit

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