4/16/2024 – BuiltOnAir Live Podcast Full Show – S18-E03

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In This Episode

Welcome to the BuiltOnAir Podcast, the live show.  The BuiltOnAir Podcast is a live weekly show highlighting everything happening in the Airtable world.

Check us out at BuiltOnAir.com. Join our community, join our Slack Channel, and meet your fellow Airtable fans.

Todays Hosts

Alli Alosa – Hi there! I’m Alli 🙂 I’m a fine artist turned “techie” with a passion for organization and automation. I’m also proud to be a Community Leader in the Airtable forum, and a co-host of the BuiltOnAir podcast. My favorite part about being an Airtable consultant and developer is that I get to talk with people from all sorts of industries, and each project is an opportunity to learn how a business works.

Kamille Parks – I am an Airtable Community Forums Leader and the developer behind the custom Airtable app “Scheduler”, one of the winning projects in the Airtable Custom Blocks Contest now widely available on the Marketplace. I focus on building simple scripts, automations, and custom apps for Airtable that streamline data entry and everyday workflows.

Dan Fellars – I am the Founder of Openside, On2Air, and BuiltOnAir. I love automation and software. When not coding the next feature of On2Air, I love spending time with my wife and kids and golfing.

Show Segments

Round The Bases – 00:01:40 –

Meet the Experts – 00:01:41 –

Meet Brian Scott from ClearTone Consulting.

Brian Scott is the President and Chief Information Security Officer at ClearTone Consulting, LLC based in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Accomplished CIO and CISO focusing on improving organization’s cybersecurity risk profile to better protect their people, data, customers, members, and reputation. Helping nonprofit organizations and small and medium-sized companies navigate the complex world of cybersecurity and privacy protections, products, vendors, and regulations. Ensuring that organization’s investment in privacy and security align with their risk profiles, data inventory, and budgetary limitations. Maximizing organization’s ROI in cybersecurity investment and ensuring staff are adequately trained to support the organization’s security objectives. Brian is proud to be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, certified by (ISC)2, the premiere cybersecurity certification authority.

Visit them online

Base Showcase – 00:01:42 –

We dive into a full working base that will This is a repository of LinkedIn posts and images, leveraging Airtable AI to regenerate post text, and automated the linkedIn posting with a Make.com integration.

Field Focus – 00:01:43 –

A deep dive into the Stacked Percentage Bar Charts – Creating cool looking stacked bar charts based on percentage fields 

Full Segment Details

Segment: Round The Bases

Start Time: 00:01:40

Roundup of what’s happening in the Airtable communities – Airtable, BuiltOnAir, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Segment: Meet the Experts

Start Time: 00:01:41

Brian Scott –

Meet Brian Scott from ClearTone Consulting.

Brian Scott is the President and Chief Information Security Officer at ClearTone Consulting, LLC based in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Accomplished CIO and CISO focusing on improving organization’s cybersecurity risk profile to better protect their people, data, customers, members, and reputation. Helping nonprofit organizations and small and medium-sized companies navigate the complex world of cybersecurity and privacy protections, products, vendors, and regulations. Ensuring that organization’s investment in privacy and security align with their risk profiles, data inventory, and budgetary limitations. Maximizing organization’s ROI in cybersecurity investment and ensuring staff are adequately trained to support the organization’s security objectives. Brian is proud to be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, certified by (ISC)2, the premiere cybersecurity certification authority.

Visit them online

Segment: Base Showcase

Start Time: 00:01:42

LinkedIn social media posting system

We dive into a full working base that will This is a repository of LinkedIn posts and images, leveraging Airtable AI to regenerate post text, and automated the linkedIn posting with a Make.com integration.

Segment: Field Focus

Start Time: 00:01:43

Learn about the Stacked Percentage Bar Charts – Creating cool looking stacked bar charts based on percentage fields

A deep dive into the Stacked Percentage Bar Charts – Creating cool looking stacked bar charts based on percentage fields 

Full Transcription

The full transcription for the show can be found here:

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Built On Air Podcast, the variety show for all things Airtable. In each episode, we cover four different segments. It's always fresh and different, and lots of fun. While you get the insider info on all things Airtable, our hosts and guests are some of the most senior experts in the Airtable community.

[00:00:26] Join us live each week on our YouTube channel every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Eastern and join our active [email protected]. Before we begin, a word from our sponsor on. On2Air Backups provides automated Airtable backups to your cloud storage for secure and reliable data protection. Prevent data loss and set up a secure Airtable backup system with On2Air Backups at on2air.

[00:00:49] com. As one customer, Sarah, said, Having automated Airtable backups has freed up hours of my time every other week. And the fear of losing anything. Long time customer [00:01:00] David states, On2Wear backups might be the most critical piece of the puzzle to guard against unforeseeable disaster. It's easy to set up, and it just works.

[00:01:08] Join Sarah, David, and hundreds more Airtable users like you to protect your Airtable data with On2Wear backups. Sign up today with promo code built on air for a 10 percent discount. Check them out at On2Air. com. And now let's check out today's episode and see what we built on air.

[00:01:37] Dan Fellars: Welcome back to the built on air podcast. We are in episode three of season 18. Good to be with you. Myself, Dan Fellars and regular host Alli Alosa, and we may have Kamille join us later in the show. She's working out some internet issues, but we're also joined by Brian Scott. Welcome Brian. 

[00:01:56] Brian Scott: Hello. Thank you.

[00:01:58] Dan Fellars: Glad to have you on. We'll learn more about [00:02:00] Brian and his story coming up in this episode, but first I'll walk us through what we're going to be doing. We always do an hour long show. We'll focus first on round the bases, keep you up to date on everything going on in the air table world and communities.

[00:02:16] Then we'll focus on our sponsor On2Air and talk about their backup solutions. Then we'll learn more about Brian and his background and what he's doing. And then he's going to showcase a base that he's built that works with LinkedIn and a posting solution using Airtable and make. com and then a shout out to join our community and then finally wrap up with Ali is going to showcase using Percentages to build stacked bar charts.

[00:02:50] ROUND THE BASES - 00:02:52

[00:02:52] So with that around the bases, one thing I'll talk about, I don't have a link to it, but we had a, [00:03:00] last week there was a builders meetup in Brooklyn, out in New York. I flew out for it. It was cool. But there was some drama around it. So Airtable. And won't name names or anything, but, Airtable probably didn't handle communication the best way possible.

[00:03:21] There was a lot of people that wanted to go to this, and apparently there was a waiting list, and people on that waiting list didn't know they were on the waiting list until the day before the event, and were notified that they, that there wasn't room for them. After many of them had made travel plans and whatnot.

[00:03:40] And so there was obviously some backlash to that and and discussion on different forums and whatnot. So, yeah, hopefully, sorry for anybody that was planning to go to that, but couldn't, And I, I would imagine that Airtable wishes they had a [00:04:00] redo in their communication channels on that. 

[00:04:03] Allis Alosa: I would say so.

[00:04:05] Dan Fellars: Yep. So, so that, that happened but the event was good. Luckily I was, I was not on the wait list, so I was able to, to attend and, had a good turnout and it was great to, to meet up with. With folks at that event, and we'll see, see that they don't have any new ones planned for a while. So they might be taking a break or changing strategy.

[00:04:30] We'll see what they do next.

[00:04:36] And then the other thing, one thing I was going to show, have we talked about this alley? This, this new, 

[00:04:43] We find it in this space. The new, this new drop down. I don't I don't feel like we've ever talked about this. 

[00:04:53] Allis Alosa: I don't think we did. 

[00:04:54] Dan Fellars: I 

[00:04:56] Allis Alosa: don't I don't find it. 

[00:04:58] Dan Fellars: Yeah, I like it because [00:05:00] a lot of times you want more information.

[00:05:04] I wonder, have you looked into this, like how it decides which fields to display? 

[00:05:09] Allis Alosa: I'm guessing it's the same as the old one, which is, it's the top most grid view in a table. So whatever grid view comes first. So usually when I set up a base, setting up a view at the top that has like the most important fields all the way to the left.

[00:05:30] And it controls not only. What you see here. Also, when you expand a record from another table, it's that order in which the fields. So I would guess it's the same thing here. 

[00:05:48] Dan Fellars: Yeah. So anyways, I bet it's probably been two, three weeks that I've noticed this. 

[00:05:56] Allis Alosa: Yeah, I think it's a slow rollout and I [00:06:00] think it's.

[00:06:01] It's nice. It's not as, it kind of more mimics actual like drop down rather than having that pop up show up. Absolutely. 

[00:06:13] Dan Fellars: Yeah, so anyways, that was something I wanted to highlight. Cool feature. It didn't, it's not in the what's new. So it's kind of one of those undocumented updates. 

[00:06:24] Allis Alosa: I like how you can change the width to drag it wider.

[00:06:28] So you can actually see the whole name if it's really long, which is, which is nice. 

[00:06:34] Dan Fellars: That's good. Yeah. Alright, another big announcement this week. Airtable is now HIPAA compliant. That probably is good for you, Brian, in your world. 

[00:06:45] Brian Scott: It is. I've had a couple of customers that were reluctant. To move, even though it wasn't PHI data, but just the fact that they kind of like all of their systems to be HIPAA compliant.

[00:06:57] So this has opened up a few doors for [00:07:00] me. Yep. 

[00:07:01] Dan Fellars: So, yeah, anybody in the healthcare world that is reliant on HIPAA compliance. I know it's been requested for years. I don't, I don't know what's required to get it there, but, whatever it was, it took a while for air table to get there, but it's now there.

[00:07:19] You do have to be on the enterprise tier and have to have to sign an additional agreement with them. But it's now available. So, so that's good news to open up more channels. 

[00:07:35] Brian Scott: Hey, Dan, back on your linked field that you were showing there, had you guys already discussed the, the AI recommendations of what they're calling it?

[00:07:44] Where you had, you discussed that on a previous episode. 

[00:07:48] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. We went through all the new air table features. Yeah. Including the, the linked record match 

[00:07:54] Brian Scott: and watch that episode yet. Obviously I was asking, but I figured that you did, but I found that to be pretty handy [00:08:00] because it cleans up a lot of, a lot of the records there now.

[00:08:03] Dan Fellars: Yep. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. That that's a great tool if it's, if it's successful at, at matching. Well,

[00:08:15] Continuing on, this one wasn't You know, big news or anything, but just kind of more humorous. Somebody just kind of posted it. This is from a sales Salesforce person saying air table is looking for a Salesforce admin and kind of ironic, but air table does use Salesforce on the sales side. They, they don't, they didn't build their CRM in Airtable.

[00:08:39] Like we've, we've built several CRMs in Airtable for clients. So it is possible, but Airtable is not quite there yet in building it out. So it's funny. They're, they're looking for a Salesforce admin at Airtable, 

[00:08:53] Allis Alosa: but it's funny. 

[00:08:55] Dan Fellars: Okay. A few more. This is just kind of always interested [00:09:00] on, on people building third party apps on top of air table.

[00:09:04] There's a lot of UI platforms already out there, but here's a new new entrant. Not quite live yet, but if you'd like to explore new tools coming out that are built on air table, here's a new one. It looks like it's called base front and looking for pre orders or in beta testers. But you can basically build out a UI on top of air table.

[00:09:30] So if you like, this is probably going to start simple. So probably won't have the complexities of software or other platforms, but for some use cases that that might be all you're looking for. So here's a new one coming out in the market. 

[00:09:46] Allis Alosa: And 

[00:09:46] Brian Scott: I have a question for you on that, Dan, have you guys ever had any.

[00:09:50] Information from air table or know what their kind of position and on this whole third party market on you. I coming up and do you feel like it's going to, [00:10:00] they're going to kind of lean on that and kind of limit their own A. I development focus and just let the let the third party community kind of manage that largely.

[00:10:09] Dan Fellars: Yeah, that's a good question. 

[00:10:11] Brian Scott: Ali, 

[00:10:11] Dan Fellars: any thoughts? 

[00:10:13] Allis Alosa: I think they are well aware of all these third party front end builders and they've made steps to improve interfaces. I think to get a little closer to what those third party tools offer. I'm not sure if they're ever going to like, you know, be able to place them.

[00:10:31] I think that might be something they're interested in. But I have actually had them come out and say, you know, we don't intend for Airtable to be the back end for a front end app, but, but they're well aware that that's like a vast majority of the use cases that people are doing with it. So we'll see.

[00:10:54] I'm excited to see what comes from in the future. 

[00:10:56] Dan Fellars: Yeah, I would [00:11:00] say they'll get there eventually, but it's not, it's not something on their one to two year roadmap. So they're kind of okay with these guys out there, but eventually I would say in, in three to five years, they, they solved that use case would be my guess.

[00:11:19] Allis Alosa: I think that's a good prediction. 

[00:11:20] Dan Fellars: All

[00:11:25] right. Here's another one. This is kind of cool. Actually. I've met this team at another builder's breakfast I believe in San Francisco. Talking to them about this tool. So cool to see they're launching it. So basically it's a AI platform that can go through all of your data. And it looks like even across multiple bases and perform insights using AI across all of your data.

[00:11:54] So this is not on a per record level. This is across all your data. [00:12:00] And so it's called AI. Insights. And so yeah, this is pretty cool. I will say Airtable is likely going to be providing this at least at the per base level. I don't know if they'll go cross bases. So that might still be unique, but, but my guess is Airtable has the ability to, to, to do some of this in the next six months.

[00:12:30] Allis Alosa: Yeah. 

[00:12:32] Dan Fellars: Yeah. So. But yeah, if you're looking for maybe more, more insights and whatnot for AI across, across all your data, here's a, here's an interesting tool to check out. 

[00:12:46] Allis Alosa: Absolutely. 

[00:12:48] Dan Fellars: All right. Here's another one. Actually, this is, I'm going to skip that one. Get that one. Did this one. Okay, here we go. So here's kind of more just [00:13:00] an idea of how this person is asking how you would use slack as like the interface to a base where you could ask questions, almost like a I where slack to be, you could have a channel where you would just ask a question and then maybe it would use something like.

[00:13:18] Air insights or something on the back end or just, you know, make. com AI or something. That, that would just return you a response, almost a Q and a, a chat bot inside of Slack that talk to your air table base.

[00:13:37] If Scott mentions, maybe data fetch can do that because I know data fetch is a pretty cool tool and it talks to like open AI. I'm pretty sure that they have an integration with open AI. So you can maybe do that through data fetch. But I, but that wouldn't be talking [00:14:00] directly to slack. So, but maybe data fetch talks to slack.

[00:14:03] I'm not sure. So, I don't know if there's other ideas. I imagine you could build a slack bot that, that could, could do something like that, but not aware of any solution as of now. 

[00:14:19] Allis Alosa: All right. 

[00:14:21] Dan Fellars: Yeah, go ahead. 

[00:14:22] Allis Alosa: I was just going to say, I can imagine it possible. I don't know how worth it. It would be, but at least not.

[00:14:31] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Moving on to x. com. So air table, just getting some recognition, getting in. I don't, I don't know how, how prevalent this ET30 is, but just getting recognized as a top 30 enterprise private tech company. So shout out to Airtable, congrats on that. Here's one, if you use Notion, [00:15:00] somebody, this is a Notion expert.

[00:15:02] Talking about how Airtable looks really nice as an embed, embed inside of Notion and how they like the, the UI of Airtable, better than, than Notion's Gallery view in particular. So yeah, I've seen that a lot where you use notion for kind of like the documentation platform, but you still use Airtable as like your data source and then you just embed tables.

[00:15:31] Inside a notion, you can't edit them or anything inside a notion, but if you just need a read only data view, 

[00:15:40] Allis Alosa: yeah, 

[00:15:42] Dan Fellars: that's a common use case. Okay. Here's an interesting one. This is from Zapier. So this is the head of director of AI at Zapier says central just released our number one most requested knowledge source air table.

[00:15:58] So I was like, what, what [00:16:00] is Zapier Central? I'm a Zapier user, but I don't, I don't think I had heard of Zapier Central. So I looked it up and it's basically an AI bot. And so this actually might solve that, that question of Slack and Airtable building AI bots. Maybe, maybe you could use Zapier Central that's in preview.

[00:16:21] So this now supports air table. So it looks like you can build a bot and this is pretty intriguing from Zapier that has connections to just about every SAS platform out there where you could build AI bots across all of your SAS products is pretty interesting. 

[00:16:40] Allis Alosa: Very cool. 

[00:16:43] Dan Fellars: So I'll have to start playing with this, see what this looks like.

[00:16:49] Cause I assume I haven't looked into this, but this might be, you know, kind of a competitor to To air insights, if that's kind of what it's trying to do. [00:17:00] 

[00:17:00] Allis Alosa: Yeah. 

[00:17:01] Dan Fellars: In addition to every other data source that they support. So we'll see how many curious what data sources they currently support.

[00:17:22] Anyway, so yeah, happier. They're definitely pushing AI hard. I know they've, they've got some direct integrations with open AI and whatnot. Okay. Speaking of that, there's a, if you, if you're interested in, in kind of what we talked about on all the different ways that air table AI works and the use cases for it, here's, here's a document that will kind of walk you through a training from air table.

[00:17:54] That gives you more insight. And then here's one more from the Airtable team. They, they did a [00:18:00] marketing trends report. So if you're interested in reports, I actually downloaded it here. So kind of talks about some of the research that they did and how it impacts. And of course it speaks highly of the use case for Airtable within marketing departments.

[00:18:17] Solving a lot of the. The pain points that the air table or that marketing departments have, things like, yeah, no single source. I load information, things like that. So, all right. I think that wraps up everything in our communities of what's going on. I take that back. There's one more. Actually, there's two more.

[00:18:45] Sorry. Okay. Heather in the built on air community talks about, I guess there was a change. I didn't fully understand this. Hopefully you were following this requires a click to create a new linked record. [00:19:00] For some key combo other than a simple return. So I think if you were highlighted on a linked record cell, you could just hit return and it would bring the search, but I guess they took that away.

[00:19:13] Allis Alosa: Interesting. Yeah. I saw this before there were comments on it and I was wondering what it meant. I don't actually know. I guess it was when you were 

[00:19:26] Dan Fellars: searching. So if you were searching for a lookup, you could hit return and it would automatically. Return the top one. Now you have to hit the down arrow to select that first one and then hit return.

[00:19:39] Allis Alosa: I just tried it. I mean, with the new picker, I just hit the plus and then hit return and it selected the top one. So I don't know. 

[00:19:48] Dan Fellars: Yeah. 

[00:19:50] Allis Alosa: Yeah. Maybe they did. I haven't, I haven't run into any odd issues like this. Doesn't mean that other people [00:20:00] didn't.

[00:20:04] Dan Fellars: All right. Last one on the what's new. There was to two new ones for April. This HIPAA that we already talked about. And then last week, we already talked about the default settings for dates. But it's also, I think we also recognize that checkboxes can now default to checked. But it looks like they also added default settings for collaborator fields and multi select, which is really good.

[00:20:31] Allis Alosa: Great. 

[00:20:33] Dan Fellars: Yeah, very useful. So, and the cool thing on collaborators is you can select the current user. So that's kind of cool. 

[00:20:40] Allis Alosa: So you can auto 

[00:20:42] Dan Fellars: assign something to the current user. 

[00:20:44] Allis Alosa: I like that's, that's the first time we've seen current user token in the data layer, which is encouraging. 

[00:20:53] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point.

[00:20:56] So yeah. So it's being more, more context aware. . [00:21:00] And then yeah, you can default multi-select. That's cool. Dates we already talked about. And that one, how also has the current date? Mm-Hmm. . And, checkbox can have it checked, so that's cool. So there's a few that just eliminated a slew of automations I have.

[00:21:22] So . Yeah. Right. Yeah, I, yeah. I remember very early on, I, I wrote a script when scripting came out of like. Default settings for fields and before it before they even had like default text values. So, yeah, definitely improvement on that front. Okay. That concludes around the bases moving on, onto our backups.


[00:21:52] If you are relying on backups or relying on air table for your business, best practice is to have backups outside of air [00:22:00] table, that's where onto where it comes in and it helps save your data, your metadata, and all your attachment data into box Dropbox or Google drive. I believe Brian mentioned he's a back of On2Air.

[00:22:15] So thank you, Brian. Very good. So check it out onto our. com use, use promo code built on air, and that will get you a discount. And so, yeah, use, use On2Air for your backup needs. It's been very reliable. Awesome. Very good. Thanks to hear that. Cool. 


[00:22:39] Brian, let's find out a little bit about yourself. Why don't you give us a history on what you're up to and really how you came into this world of Airtable?

[00:22:48] Brian Scott: Yeah, sure. Thanks. Thanks for having me. I was excited about when I found the podcast cause I love to talk about Airtable as well. And so I was like, Oh, this seems like a place where I can hang out. [00:23:00] So I'm a career technologist. I started as an electrical engineer, but moved over to software engineering a long, long time ago, pre internet days.

[00:23:09] Got to ride the internet wave early on as a developer, which was fun, and you know, that led into management roles. And then for the last 22 years, I've been you know, a CIO or CTO or CISO for various organizations. And the last four years I've been a consultant. So before my company Cleartone Consulting 501 CISO is my security branded side of consulting that's aimed specifically at the nonprofit and association markets.

[00:23:46] What's 501 C. So I've most of my career having been around software, software development and working for companies that was building product. I just love building things, you know, I mean [00:24:00] that are software base. It's like it's a passion of mine, something that I've enjoyed. And so getting away from actual coding and, you know, into management and leadership levels, I've always felt.

[00:24:11] A little bit of a lack there, you know, missing that ability to get in and build when I was working for organizations, I had teams that were doing that. But when I branched out on my own as a consultant, then I was really missing that. I no longer had a team to do that. And so air table has really kind of filled that gap for me in a way.

[00:24:30] So as soon as I have an idea on something, I'm able to go in and develop an app for that. So. Yeah. That's kind of brought that excitement back to me. And in fact, I have a natural tendency, I found to want to try to mess around with Airtable and build things, you know, even above my, my other paid work, which is actually, you know, more higher paid work than than what I might do on the Airtable side, which is kind of funny, but it's just because I [00:25:00] enjoy it so much.

[00:25:01] What really brought me into Airtable was, so when I decided to, to start providing the security specific side of my, There's a, there's a whole group of, of there's an industry out there for CISOs, or large organizations that are doing a lot of assessments to organize security assessments, you know, against multiple customers, against multiple companies.

[00:25:27] And so I did a, an evaluation of, you know, I probably looked at 12, 13 different platforms out there, and many of them are very, very nice, but they're all extremely expensive you know, in my opinion you know, up to, you know, 3, 000 a year per customer. And so if you have multiple customers in my, as I do in this realm, I mean, I've got 10 or 12, security customers.

[00:25:50] I mean, that would have obviously turned out to be a lot of money right now, which, which doesn't make sense as a solopreneur at all. And so so [00:26:00] in seeing that some of those apps, I thought, well, you know, I understand what those apps are doing. I actually started to think about engaging with the developer to build an app, you know that was custom to me because that that was even going to be less expensive, but in doing that, I modeled the database.

[00:26:15] And then I thought, you know, I'm going to go look for a tool. And this is pre under knowing that air table was out there. Maybe I can do this myself. And so I started doing evaluations and started looking at and I came across air table and then you know, You know, started with a free account as everyone does and just started modeling the system out.

[00:26:33] And I mean, I just went boom from, from one to 50 with it, because I think probably two weeks later I had my system done and I was like, I was able to conduct business, start conducting assessments in the, in the system. And I was, I was hooked immediately then I was like, all right, this is, this is where it's at.

[00:26:51] So since then I've, I've continued that so that it's become my customer. [00:27:00] CRM as well as my newsletter CRM, but so all of my customers are, are in there, whether I'm doing security work for them or not. All my time tracking is in in that. It's really become an ERP for me to just runs my business from, from A to Z.

[00:27:18] And I've just kind of continued to add on it, you know, week after week and just build functions into it. So I've really, I've really enjoyed that. What I was going to end up. Showing today that I thought was, you know, maybe, you know, a lot of people have done things like that. And maybe, you know, there's nothing necessarily unique, maybe around a CRM or something aspect to it just uses the basic functionality.

[00:27:44] But, I did do something regarding LinkedIn that I thought maybe it was somewhat it was unique to me, at least when I did it. And I thought people may have interest in it. And so as a solopreneur, I have to do marketing and [00:28:00] sales As well as the operational side of delivering everything I do.

[00:28:04] And so obviously when you start getting busy with an operational side and delivering the product and the service, you know, what starts to suffer is the marketing side of things. And you know, LinkedIn is a, is one of my primary outlets for just having a presence. I'm since with 501 C, so I operate primarily in a nonprofit and association space, and they're, they're pretty active on LinkedIn and have communities on LinkedIn.

[00:28:33] And so I'd like to be active in posting on LinkedIn and posting content, you know, on LinkedIn. But what I found last fall was that I was moving away from that and because of being busy doing other things. And so where I was going from 1 to 2 posts a week, I was slipping off to 1 every other week.

[00:28:55] And then 1 every other 3rd, you know, every 3rd week, I'd go out and try to post and. [00:29:00] It started becoming this little nagging thing where I started setting reminders in my calendar, like, Hey, you need to go post. You need to go post. And I started ignoring them. And, you know, it's just so finally 1 day, I was just like, oh, well, why don't I just automate this?

[00:29:13] Right? And then I don't have to worry about it. And so that's what started me down this path of thinking of utilizing air table in this way, particularly when air table delivered or deployed the A. I. Okay. Aspect to what they're doing, because I also didn't want to just be posting the same thing over and over and over on linkedin.

[00:29:35] And so that's what led to this idea of me building this small little application that would help me Keep current in linkedin as well as with fresh, you know a fresh Content on inked in and so that's what I was going to share today with you. 

[00:29:54] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Maybe before you jump into that question, I'd be curious with your background and [00:30:00] expertise.

[00:30:00] Have you ever looked at air table from a security perspective? Because I've heard a lot of people. I get there is we talked a couple weeks ago about a potential data leak and it's How easy it is to share data. I'd be curious, like your perspective as a security. How do you evaluate air table as a product from a security standpoint?

[00:30:21] Brian Scott: Yeah, I, you know, I've I've gone as far as just what air table shares, you know, reviewing what they share specifically around. Security. I do think it's interesting that they've recently released the HIPAA, which means, you know, there's, that's a regulated space, right? You know, with a compliance framework there.

[00:30:43] And it's not it's not easy, you know, I'd say to, to, to say to pass that compliance. You really have to have your ducks in a row. So that that's raised my confidence that there. Paying attention to security on the, on the, you know, because there's a big, pretty big curtain between really knowing what they're doing.

[00:30:59] And, you know, and [00:31:00] what you, you just have to take what they say. But to go as far as to make that proclamation, it means they put some significant investment in that. So that's, that's nice. I don't, you know, with any of my customers that I'm consulting with, I. I caution them on what they would want to put in there.

[00:31:17] You know what kind of information to put in you you need to ask but that's with any cloud platform, right? That's not just air table I mean, I so I don't really view it as any different of any cloud platform at all Whether that be dropbox box, you know salesforce anything There are all these cloud platforms and their security is your security, right?

[00:31:38] You know you're relying on these groups and so you have to go in As much as you can with your eyes wide open But other than in these cases, really, there's not much more you can do than just trying to probe the company, you know, maybe connect, ask some questions and see what, what, what they're providing in terms of what their security, is, and then following your own best practices [00:32:00] too, which might be, policies around cautioning, who you share things with and having, you know, having some structure around that people being aware of data aware and then account management, you know and, and utilizing.

[00:32:15] Things like MFA where you, where you can and where it's appropriate. So that's my view zone. 

[00:32:20] Dan Fellars: Gotcha. Cool. And give a pitch, maybe who should be reaching out to you and where can they find you? 

[00:32:26] Brian Scott: Oh, okay. Yeah, you can reach me at either website at cleartoneconsulting. com or 501ciso. com. Has both ways to connect with me on there.

[00:32:37] It's Brian Scott with an I. Brian Scott at cleartoneconsulting. com is my email. And I'd say anyone who's has a need for either my CTO services or my my CISO services. I, I deal with mainly small to medium sized businesses that are either trying to build software and need some. Some leadership around structuring teams and processes [00:33:00] around building software or groups that have concerns around their security and need some leadership on maybe even working with their M.

[00:33:09] S. P. but to to assess their, current risk situation and creating a roadmap plan to, to shore up there's cybersecurity controls. Gotcha. Very cool. All 

[00:33:21] Dan Fellars: right. And it looks like you're also a musician. 

[00:33:24] Brian Scott: I am, or, or maybe, maybe more used to be than I am currently, but I still putter around with a little bit, but Not nearly as much as I used to, but I think the guitars look great.

[00:33:35] So I always keep them in the background. Yeah. 

[00:33:37] Dan Fellars: It's quite the collection. It's always a nice 

[00:33:40] Brian Scott: icebreaker. If I'm on with a client, if I get a, an, a customer, that's a a musician, then I'm immediately their friend. 

[00:33:48] Allis Alosa: Yeah. 

[00:33:49] Dan Fellars: Very good. Very good. Cool. With that, why don't we see what you've got going on? I'll, I'll put your screen on and [00:34:00] actually.

[00:34:00] Real quick, we'll do a transition. 


[00:34:06] So yeah, you're going to be talking about this LinkedIn posting system that you built. So take it away. 

[00:34:12] Brian Scott: Yeah, thanks. So one of the things that I've, you know, I noted with, with posts on LinkedIn is one thing I noted personally is that I like to reuse some of them. I've, I've, I've made these graphics.

[00:34:25] Like this happens to be about free resources that people can get. And so I'd want to repost this graphic on some kind of period. And prior to creating the system, you know, I just had the graphic stored off in some directory somewhere. And I would just ad hoc write something every time. And go find the image and kind of just recreate the post over and over at some period or I'd go find the old post In this big long list of posts and you know, try to repost it and that was just a pain And didn't and and then I would lose track on well, [00:35:00] which ones when did I post what and you know?

[00:35:02] And which one should I post now and so I really had no insight into that whatsoever and so that that kind of led me to to create a system that could support several different modes of, of, of posting to LinkedIn. So first off, I'll say that if I just have a one time post, like let's on, you know, maybe someone else made a post that I want to reference.

[00:35:27] I'll just go straight to LinkedIn still and do that. Right. Cause I'm not, there's no it's not a piece of content that I want to maintain, but if. It is something that I might have value of reposting in the future, then it's a piece of content. I want to retain. Then I'm going to want to put it in air table.

[00:35:47] I use make dot com basically to to, you know, make it to handle the integration and the posting. But there's and if you go to make dot com, you'll see I have several different [00:36:00] scenarios there around that, and it kind of supports. The different types of posting that I have and so under status before I get into these fields and what they do, you'll notice that enabled is enabled is my general status of, I have one make job that basically on a schedule just comes and looks for the latest, if I scroll down here, you'll see one post has a, has a, it's the next.

[00:36:27] It's the next one to go and it'll just pick up that that that post on the scheduled basis. Right? And so it's only looking and the script that sets that next post is only from enabled. So I can disable 1 if I want to keep it on the shelf, but don't have it rotate for a while. But I can also do an instant post.

[00:36:47] So if I want to. Create something in here stored as as, content to post in the future, but I want to post it right now. I can make it an instant post and I have a make job that will pick [00:37:00] that up post immediately and then change it to enabled afterwards. So then it just goes in. I have some terms, which I'll talk about.

[00:37:08] So, like, if I want to post something once a month. And I don't want it in my general mix. I just or once a week for a term that I can do that as well. And I have the make jobs that basically align to those things. Right. And so in general, what, what I've got here is a, as a, as a record for each post.

[00:37:29] I have a, I have an image library in case I want to reuse some of these images, like my logo, you'll see, I reuse a lot. And so instead of just storing them, I just. Reference it once. And then I type my post just so I'd like to know. Well, how many educational posts do I have? How many service announcements?

[00:37:48] How many testimonials from customers? I can just kind of get some data myself. Metadata around what kind of things I've got in there. But you can see I have. Right now I have 49 different pieces of [00:38:00] content that I'm going to cycle through on a regular basis and in make, you know, this, this schedule post right here and I've right now I'm, I'm posting.

[00:38:13] I used to post once a day, but now I'm posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so what's great about that is I don't, I don't have to do the post. It just picks it up for me. So I can go on vacation and I'm still posting on LinkedIn. I can be in calls and I'm still happening and I can change that to the period that I want.

[00:38:32] I have a separate one that's Fridays only that's pulling on Fridays. I determined I was going to start making cybersecurity jokes because the world needs more cybersecurity comedians out there. And I've decided to fill that gap. And so Friday is a cybersecurity post, but it's a joke and it's all AI driven.

[00:38:48] And I'll show you some of those. So, so basically I'm sorted here by the last post date. So this was one [00:39:00] on Monday. That was, that was, and as you scroll down, they get older and older. And so it's basically pulling off the bottom, you know, the sorry for the scroll. This is one I just created today, so it's, it's got, it, it talk about the last post or default for a date this one I was defaulting to 2000.

[00:39:24] Every time that script runs, and it, and it finds this flag and posts it, it removes the flag, and I have an automation that, That then finds the oldest post, right, and then makes it the next one to go. So it kind of last in, what is that, first in, last out, kind of just rolls them around. At any point in time, if I don't want that, I'm like, no, I don't want this one.

[00:39:45] I can just uncheck it myself and say, I really want this one to go tomorrow and just click it. And then it's just, it'll work. And then just goes right back into its, it's last 1st and last out role. So that's kind of handy. So I guess. [00:40:00] Let me show you one more thing with the scroll in here. So I mentioned monthly terms, so I can have a type that's once a month and I have a make that with home dot com, which will just look for those and just push those out sometime.

[00:40:14] If I have a webinar that's coming up, I might do one weekly for four weeks out and then three days before I'll, I'll met one daily for three days with a term with a start and end day. And all of that stuff is automated. I just have to put it in there. But the right dates in and it just goes and here's my Friday only, which is my, my humorous ones, my comedic.

[00:40:34] Right. And so, these will only go on Fridays. And when I get into the of this, I'll, I'll explain that. So, so that's kind of the, the, the engine, the logistics of the engine that that's working there. So now let's talk about how I might use. AI and air tables, AI capability. So first off for some of my posts, like a quote, a customer [00:41:00] quote I don't want AI dealing with that.

[00:41:03] And so it's a static post text and that's where I've got a quote from one of my customers. I don't want it being changed. I want it to be exactly the same. And so I put it in static post, right? The, the field that make is picking up is this. Formula, which is obviously if there's static pull that if not, you know, then pull the AI simple, but I needed that capability.

[00:41:26] So I can make those when I need to, as I'm scrolling to get to the AI part here, I'm tracking, you know, how many times it's been posted the dates that it's been posted and and what the last post date was just so I kind of get a. A record of those things. So then we get to the AI prompt part. And you see I have two fields here.

[00:41:51] I have an AI prompt and an AI output. So this is the actual, the AI output is the AI field type itself. But [00:42:00] then I have another one that's just a prompt. And this is this is not an AI type. It's, you know, it's just a long text. The reason for that is I found that if I found that there's some logistical, like some details you need to talk about how you want the, the, the post to look and I didn't want to keep recreating that.

[00:42:24] Right? And so, in my, I'll talk about my AI output 1st. This is what it says. It says, you know, make a brief. Marketing LinkedIn post following the prompt found in my a odd prompt field. So that's pretty and that field is straightforward, you know, like describe blah, blah, blah, blah, or something like that. And I'll look at that.

[00:42:45] But this is where you kind of get in some of the cleanup. Like, don't include hashtags. Don't include icons. Don't include emojis. Don't start with the phrase LinkedIn fam. I started it started doing that, like, Hey, LinkedIn fam. I'm like, I would not say that. So don't do that. [00:43:00] You know, make the style conversational, you know, make it a length between 400 and 600.

[00:43:05] Here's and this is a bit where the magic starts. So regenerated when the last post update changes. All right, so that's, that's my trigger to for my AI wants to to reef to rephrase it and then, you know, include at the end of paragraph using this. URL here, this info URL saying how I can, how they can contact me.

[00:43:27] So that's kind of like the logistical structure 

[00:43:30] Dan Fellars: that regenerate. Does that audit, how does that work? 

[00:43:34] Brian Scott: Yeah. And so, so it says, you know, anytime that my, my last post update. Last post date is updated. It's it's going to regenerate, off of this prompt for me. And so that's exactly what make dot com does. So when make comes in here and grabs the record with the field [00:44:00] and posted, then it updates last post date 

[00:44:04] Allis Alosa: from make 

[00:44:04] Brian Scott: dot com.

[00:44:05] And so, and that updating Then we'll regenerate the where that is, right? I did 

[00:44:11] Dan Fellars: not know you could automatically regenerate like that just through the prompt. 

[00:44:15] Brian Scott: Yeah 

[00:44:16] Dan Fellars: That 

[00:44:17] Brian Scott: is cool. And so my prompts, you know, are much more simpler, like, you know, discuss how organizations can do something, describe how, you know, and so they're more like, just like a straight prompt that you'd put into chat GPT or something.

[00:44:31] Right. But I, so I, That's why I separated it to keep the logistical part of it and then just the straight prompt. So when I add something, I just, I can just kind of make a very easy prompt in here, right? So there's another aspect to this, which, you know, talked about what make. com does for me. And let me open that up real quickly because there's one other important thing that it does.[00:45:00] 

[00:45:02] So I put a little test flag in here in case I don't want it to, I'm sorry, I've got my phone ringing. Let's stop that. In case I just want to test the test this without actually, posting to LinkedIn, this is where it updates LinkedIn, but it also sends us me a slight notification that the post occurred.

[00:45:28] Right. So I've kind of always got a sense of what's going on. It's something I'm not doing here. I'm actually doing this from air table. I, I realized, Oh, wait a minute. I'm having AI generate a new post. I want to lay eyes on that before I've just accepted it, right? Because, you know, AI, you can't quite trust it yet.

[00:45:49] It could say some crazy things out of the blue. I could have done that from within make, but I actually didn't. I just said inside of I have a, I have an [00:46:00] automation inside of, it's one of these it's a send an email one, right here, updated. So when I update a post, With that, it sends me an email and the reason I did that is Slack, quite honestly, I, this is posted all the time.

[00:46:17] I don't go to the Slack channel and really look at it all the time. I do look at my emails all the time, right? I'm, I'm there. And so I wanted it in front of me. So, when it, when it does create a new auto AI generated, sends me a nice little email with the text and believe it or not, I'm actually pretty good about it.

[00:46:34] I'll read through everything that it says and so to it, you know, and that's my approval process. I'm like, yep, that's fine. Just delete the email. Don't worry about it. There have been a few times and I'd say maybe one out of 20 AI posts where it just says something that I just didn't like the way it said it or it might have gotten a little strange and so that's fine All I do to come in here to regenerate is I just come in and just I just have to [00:47:00] update this date again Right, and I could just change the time to one minute or you know change it or whatever I just have to update it and then it auto generates again I'll get another email with You know what the new is, but and and never before have I've never had it where I've auto generated a second time and I didn't like the second one.

[00:47:19] I was just like, that's fine. Right? In fact, it's very rare. It might be less than 1 and 20 might be 1 and 30 that I actually don't like what it's doing. What it's saying. So that's that way when that same post with the same image comes around and I'm, you know, for another time, it's not the same thing that I'm saying.

[00:47:39] It's it's same content, same idea, but I've said it a little bit differently. I don't know if that has anything to do with LinkedIn algorithms on. You know, on, you know, on on impressions and putting things up front, but I thought, well, it doesn't hurt to try to make it as you know, I thought it's not going to be good if I'm just posting the exact same thing over and [00:48:00] over.

[00:48:00] I'm sure that's not going to be. Helpful and, you know, quite honestly, I guess, you know, most people, most people I've talked to are unaware that any of my poster have a and my, my prompts are pretty detailed. So I'm, you know, I'm writing a lot of it. It's not like just make a cyber security post. You know, that's not that it's, it's pretty detailed about what I want it to say.

[00:48:22] So. You know, it's it's got that in there, but often the content is you know, the word by word generated from that. So, so that that's it in a nutshell. That's kind of the system and the feedback loops I have. And just in this, and I hope I haven't gone too long, but I'll read, like, some of my funny ones, which is this, which is, This was, looking to whip up a tasty treat that packs a punch.

[00:48:52] Try making a cyber cake using these ingredients, a pinch of fishing, a dash of malware, a sprinkle of social engineering, and a dollop of [00:49:00] ransomware. Mix it all together with a strong password and bake a. Baked for a secure network. All right. So, so that's my cake one, my cybersecurity cake, you know? So, and that was AI generated, you know, of so I'm trying to think of just other ways of kind of creating those things just for a little fun.

[00:49:19] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Wow. This is awesome. This is so cool. I've learned some cool tricks that I was not aware of before. 

[00:49:28] Brian Scott: Great. That was my hope. I hope others will find some value of it as to it as well. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you for 

[00:49:35] Dan Fellars: sharing that, Brian. I love it. And got some ideas for, for future stuff. So awesome.


[00:49:45] -Let's move on. We'll give a shout out. If you are not in our community, you can learn from amazing people like Brian and others. We have thousands of Airtable users in the community. So check us out built on air. com slash join. We'll get you in for [00:50:00] free and sign up for our newsletter as well. 

[00:50:04] FIELD FOCUS - 00:50:05

[00:50:05] Okay.

[00:50:07] With that, we'll finish off with Alli and her stacked bar charts. 

[00:50:13] Allis Alosa: Awesome. All right. I had seen a post in Slack the other day with a screenshot of a bar chart and people were asking about it and it reminded me of a couple of things I've done for a couple of projects. So I thought it would be a cool little hack to highlight.

[00:50:31] Just a cool way of getting a nice looking bar chart. So I have here a very, pretty simple based I've got opportunities linked to months and those are the two tables I'm really going to be dealing with here. So I want to, I'm going to give you some examples. One is going to be based on the number of opportunities [00:51:00] per month, and then we'll take into account the estimated value afterwards.

[00:51:05] So the first thing I want to do is I'm going to create a count field on my months table to count up how many opportunities I have per month. So I just, I'm going to grab this count field. And we'll just call it like opportunity count. And I'm going to just count the number of opportunities I have per month,

[00:51:32] and then I want to bring that field back over here to compare each record to that number. So a cool little thing you can do, actually, one option would be I could, you know, look it up or roll up that number. as its own field. Let me grab month close opportunity count and I could do, you know, I [00:52:00] could have this number here and then I another field to get the percentage of each row out of number.

[00:52:07] But you can also just do that right within the, roll up formula itself, which I like to do a lot of the time on the number of fields that I have on a table. So essentially, I wanna say for each row here, I wanna know what percentage of the total count I have for each record. So I usually, when I'm, whenever I'm doing a, a divide a a number with division, I always start with an if statement.

[00:52:41] So I'm gonna say if I have the Divisors right, so if there is a count, which in this case there probably always will be. That's okay. And then I'm going to say one out of that count. Right? So this would be the number of, [00:53:00] records or number in this field here on opportunity count. And I'm dividing that by one each time.

[00:53:09] I'm going to go and do my formatting and I'm changing this to a percentage. And usually I do like two decimal places. I'm going to rename this to percent of total opportunities. So then you can see here, because I've got two records in February, each one is 50%, right? Three records, each one is 33%, and this sum here is always going to add up to 100%.

[00:53:40] And that's the most important thing for this little hack here. Second, I'm going to just do the same thing, I'm going to use the Estimated value to roll up. So if I roll up the, like, total [00:54:00] estimated value

[00:54:04] for each opportunity.

[00:54:09] So now I've got the sum of each month's potential revenue for all the opportunities. And then I'm going to do essentially, I can duplicate this field. And then percent of total estimated value will be what I'm looking at instead. So I'm just going to flip the field. I'm looking, looking at to the total estimated value, and then instead of dividing it by one, I'm going to divide it by the, or I'm going to do the total estimated value, estimated value per opportunity divided by the total estimated value for the whole month.

[00:54:55] Well, it automatically, it tried to be smarter than me and it set the, [00:55:00] format to currency, but I'm going to flip that back to percentage.

[00:55:08] So now I can see this 6, 000 is 38 percent of my total potential months. This 10 is the 61. 9. And again, everything here adds up to that a hundred percent in each month bucket. So now that I've got those numbers, I can go into an interface and I'm just going to create a new page. We'll go with the new dashboard layout, which I'm trying to, trying to love.

[00:55:43] There's, there's some weird things about it. I don't love, but that's okay. Let's just play with this bar chart it gave me. The x axis, I'm going to change this to my close date. If we look at [00:56:00] each close date here, I've got an automation that links it up to the actual month record, but each one of these close dates should still be within that month.

[00:56:08] So if I bucket my chart by month, Then I've got, you know, everything in the order I wanted it on that date and now my y axis, I'm going to change this to be a summary and I'm going to go to my, let's do percent of total opportunities. And then change it to some interesting. I wonder what I've got going on there.

[00:56:39] Do I not, maybe I'm not including the empty. That's weird. Well, problem solving. Let's see why I've got that. So it starts, it's April 2022. And [00:57:00] that's odd because you know what? I did something weird, just demo base and see the months and years aren't even adding up here. 

[00:57:09] Brian Scott: Oh, yeah. 

[00:57:10] Allis Alosa: Yeah, this is, I haven't changed this in a while.

[00:57:13] So instead of the close date, I'm going to just go to a month close. There we go. So if my dates actually line up and I didn't do something weird with this, then it would have worked. But there, this is exactly what I would expect to see is everything adds up to 100%, and now I'm going to group it by like, let's say status.

[00:57:43] So now I start to get some pretty cool insights into my data here so I can see, like, all right, out of, you know, May 2020, 20 percent of my opportunities were lost [00:58:00] and I closed 40 percent of them. And 40 percent were still in the qualification round. But December 2020 closed 100%. So that's pretty cool.

[00:58:12] Then we could duplicate that. And instead of doing the, percent of total, we can do the percent of the estimated value. And that didn't change too much because my numbers are apparently pretty in line with the number of opportunities. But. Now you can see, you know, we lost 25 percent of our potential revenue for 2020.

[00:58:40] So you start to be able to kind of get, see your data as a whole and break that down into chunks depending on where you want to slice it. 

[00:58:51] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Very cool. 

[00:58:53] Allis Alosa: Yeah. A 

[00:58:54] Dan Fellars: nice little hack there. 

[00:58:56] Allis Alosa: Absolutely. This, this works really well too, for like percent [00:59:00] complete of a project, right? You could imagine like.

[00:59:04] If you have your statuses, like the top of the bar might be gray if you haven't started the task and then green, so like, kind of like mini progress bars across, so really cool little, hack you can use for all sorts of different use cases. And I think it looks nice and clean, 

[00:59:25] Dan Fellars: Awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

[00:59:28] Allis Alosa: Of 

[00:59:28] Dan Fellars: course. Nice hack there. We'll wrap up just, just to get closure on, one of the things we talked about in round the bases, I believe in this one. If so, if you, we didn't, we didn't get a good answer on the, the LinkedIn or the linked record. Item. So Scott helps us out here. A couple of comments from Scott's for creating new link records.

[00:59:53] You can't hit return anymore. The link record issue they're talking about earlier is when you're trying to create a new link record from the link [01:00:00] record field. If you type what you want to add in the list of records disappears because there are no matches used to be able to hit return to create the new link record.

[01:00:08] Not anymore. 

[01:00:11] Allis Alosa: You have 

[01:00:11] Dan Fellars: to hit the down arrow first. So 

[01:00:14] Allis Alosa: that's, 

[01:00:15] Dan Fellars: that's the issue. So yeah, so if it's not there when you look for it, and you wanted to create a new one, it probably makes more sense. Anyways, but yeah, change in behavior. All right, concludes today's show. Glad you can be with us, Brian. Thanks so much for for joining us and and your exciting stuff.

[01:00:40] Look forward to hearing what you've got going on in the future. We'd love to have you back. Appreciate it. Thanks guys. Yeah. And we'll see everybody next week. Take [01:01:00] care.

[01:01:05] OUTRO - 01:01:06

[01:01:06] for joining today's episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to check out our sponsor, On2Air Backups, automated backups for air table. We'll see you next time on the built on air podcast.