Handshake 2.0 Found Out From AttaainCI

How did VT KnowledgeWorks member company Handshake Media, Inc. find out that Handshake 2.0 was quoted in The Huffington Post?  From an e-mail alert generated by AttaainCI, the competitive intelligence software-as-a-service (SaaS) created by VT KnowledgeWorks member company Attaain, Inc.

Here's the whole story, reposted from Handshake 2.0:

Handshake 2.0 quoted in The Huffington Post Handshake 2.0 was very, very honored to be mentioned in The Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post is the top-rated Technorati blog.

Patricia Handschiegel has written a series for The Huffington Post on women entrepreneurs entitled The New Power Girls.  She quoted Handshake 2.0's founder – that would be me, Anne Giles Clelland – on 1/16/09 in The New Power Girls: How to Strike Balance in Business.

In a congratulatory e-mail, regionalism advocate Stuart Mease asked, “How did that happen?”

We've answered the question below.  It's a somewhat lengthy story and involves a lot of people. 

The short answer to "How did that happen?" - and the instructive one – is this:

It’s still who you know.


Z. Kelly Queijo, a freelance writer who crafts excellent posts for Handshake 2.0, sent me a query from Peter Shankman’s HARO – Help a Reporter Out.  Journalists submit queries via HARO for sources on stories.  Subscribers to the service – over 45,000, according to the site - receive three e-mail newsletters per day with a dozen or more queries.  Kelly spotted a request from Patricia Handshchiegel and e-mailed it to me on 12/23/08.

"Seeking women entrepreneurs who have started companies within the last 3-5 years for a series I've been doing on my Huffington Post blog. The series is published 2x a week for ten weeks total (we're on week 5).  Sources should send a short email describing company, blog, and background. Please be sure to include any relevant website addresses. Thanks!"

I am also a subscriber to HARO but missed that query.  In September, 2008, I had a brief e-mail correspondence with Peter Shankman to receive his permission to quote one of his newsletters about Twitter for Handshake 2.0.  Peter Shankman's quote is in this comment. 

Peter Shankman established Web 2.0 credibility with me, as all of us online are advised to do, by offering a genuine, informed, distinctive, consistent voice that is shared reliably, i.e. day after day after day.  (Shankman’s voice is good-natured, occasionally iconoclastic, and rich with commentary on business and life.)

I was referred to HARO by another credible source, Robert Geller, senior vice president with Fusion Public Relations in New York.  He, too, had established Web 2.0 credibility with me because his online presence in his blog, Flack’s Revenge, is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and thought-provoking.  He mentioned HARO in a Flack's Revenge blog post.

How do I “know” Robert Geller?  He and I have never met.  One of his colleagues was using Google to research a company mentioned in a Handshake 2.0 post.  She forwarded the link to Geller.  He looked at the site, then mentioned Handshake 2.0 on Flack’s Revenge.

Geller was the first person I didn’t know directly in the physical world who linked to Handshake 2.0.  Since then, we have had an on-going conversation via blog comments, e-mail, and Twitter, @handshake20 and @rgeller.

My point?  I'm a passionate, highly-engaged entrepreneur.  I must choose wisely what I do with my time.  Because I had "It's still who you know" referrals, I knew the query was legitimate.  So I gave it time.

I responded to Patricia Handschiegel.  I received a reply the very next day.  Was I open to being placed on an e-mail list to receive requests for answers and anecdotes?  Yes.  Very yes.

Twice per week, I received Patricia Handschiegel’s questions, wrote answers and submitted them, received an e-mailed link to her new entry in The New Power Girls series, and didn’t find Handshake 2.0 there.

I did find Patricia Handschiegel’s questions meaningful and thought-provoking.  In one of her questions, she asked the women entrepreneurs on her list to write about influential people from their pasts.  I did that (and didn’t make the cut), but was inspired to pair her power girl idea with the idea of influential people in my present, and wrote my own series of blog posts on the women wielding the power of success in my own six-month start-up:  Lindsey Eversole, Shirley Gillispie, and Bethanne Trexell.

When the most recent question arrived asking women entrepreneurs to contemplate how they achieve balance in their lives, I said to Mr. Handshake 2.0, “I have a trouble with balance.”  He replied that he thought I worked very, very hard on balance.  We both laughed.  Then he described some of the ways he’s seen me attempt to achieve balance in my life.  He mentioned my cat…

That mention by Mr. Handshake 2.0 inspired the insight that I was able to express in words and e-mail to Patricia Handschiegel.  And she chose some of those words to quote.

So, Stuart Mease, that's how Handshake 2.0 got mentioned in The Huffington Post.

Oh, one more “It’s still who you know.”

How did I find out about the mention?

An e-mail alert sent to me through my subscription to AttaainCI, the competitive intelligence service created by my VT KnowledgeWorks member company colleague, Daryl Scott.


I am still pondering this remarkable experience.  One conclusion is that It takes a lot of "who you knows" for things to happen.

A second one is the best one:  I know wonderful “who you knows.”


  1. Hi Anne:

    Congratulations on the networking success story! I know that referrals from top-rated blogs such as this are great traffic, reputation and business builders.

    I'm also glad to hear that AttaainCI's e-mail alerts helped you spot the latest mention of Handshake 2.0 in real-time! It may be interesting to note that in addition to keeping you posted as to when such occurrences happen, e-mail alerts can also be used to help generate additional exposure for a company, too.

    For example, I track new blog discussions about a number of market areas related to my business in my own AttaainCI e-mail alerts. Each day I do a quick scan of my new alerts, and for any new blog discussion relevant to my business, I can just click the link in my e-mail alert to go to the full blog post. If it is from a significant business blog, this provides the perfect opportunity to contribute a relevant comment on the subject — and naturally include a link back to my own company. This is a very effective means of building additional exposure on high-ranking blogs in a way that you can proactively control, and often while the new blog entry is still fresh in the search engines.

    As a perfect example — this post! I spotted it in my e-mail alerts this morning… and here I am 🙂

    Congratulations again on the terrific coverage of Handshake 2.0!

    Best Regards,
    Daryl Scott
    Attaain, Inc.

  2. Thank you, Daryl. This was such a powerful comment that I posted it in the blog itself. Wonderful information!


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