Tag Archives: web 2.0

How Much Are Your Social Media Efforts Worth?

Everyone’s on Facebook (even my parents).  You’ve got to have blog (even if no one reads it).  How many tweets did you send today (3-so far, but I’ve had meetings all morning)?  Social media is a buzzin’ (still) and will be for the foreseable future.  Businesses all know that they’ve got to be in this space, but many do not know why?  Furthermore, most businesses do not know whether they are succeeding.

Heather Holdrige posted a great blog on Frogloop.com about the return on investment in social media for businesses.  Her post went   into an overview of social media growth (“(NYT reported last week that time spent on social networks has exceeded that of email)”  and then discussed the metrics for social media success developed at the Women Who Tech TeleSummit, where she was a recent panel speaker on the topic. 

This chart that she posted shows a great quick reference guide to whether your social media efforts are working: 

How are you measuring your social media success?



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Online A.D.H.D. (Purposeful Web 2.0 Browsing for the Ritalin Generation)

It seems like everyone has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) these days (even though it only affects about 5% of the population).  Our shortening attention spans are not helped in a Web 2.0 world where we are twittered down to 140 character status updates and keep connected with RSS feeds.  As someone whose therapist has given him a bona fide diagonsis as “an adult with ADHD who has learned to compensate” I find that focusing online is very tough.  I want to click this, search for that, keep 10 tabs open in my browser, while my Nambu or Tweetdeck (depending on what OS I’m using that day b/c I can’t just have one computer running) has multiple searches active.

Time to focus.  Here are some strategies I have thought of that make web 2.0 browsing a bit more focused:

  1. Have a short list of goals for each online session: (post 1 blog, fix up Picassa, and check Gmail)
  2. Make time limits: (I will finish by 11:30 pm tonight)
  3. Have a steady time to do certain repeating tasks (post a blog & check social network aggregators at lunch)
  4. Aggregators, aggregators, aggregators (Google Reader for RSS, Eventbox when on Mac) – finding the best aggregator that takes headlines from multiple sites & put them in one place
  5. Choose sides: I feel like I am always jumping onto something new to make my life easier (delicious, readit, or my favorite: digg) – rather than jumping to new tek to be in the now (thanks Ram Daas), find ones that you like and stick to them unless a good reason to change presents itself
  6. If your head starts to feel warm and tingly, go for a walk

What suggestions do you have to avoid aimless impulse browsing?

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Real Education in Virtual Worlds that Will Blow Your Mind

When I say “virtual world,” what do you think about?  To me, images of Star Trek’s “Holodeck” or the X-men’s “Danger Room” come to mind; in the “real world” I might point to World of Warcraft or Second Life (“SL”).  Most of us would say those are just “games” and conclude that “virtual world” = video game, but as the videos below will show, there is a whole new pedagogical (strategy of instruction) approach to using virtual words to learn in the real world.  Applications run the gamut of teaching a class about history, art, or science, to training a sales team about a new product.  I want to give a shout out to eLearning blog for posting about these videos in the first place – check ’em out:

Overview of educational use and applications – shows how universities can use SL to teach history, art, psychology, drama, and social science.

Science learning – shows an exercise where students can enter a cell, explore, and then find the exacitic vesticle to exit the cell.  It also shows an interactive tour through an anatomic model with a real beating heart (wonder what they could do with the brain after the brain map project is complete in 2011?).

Sales Rep Training – shows how a company can train sales reps on the intricacies of a product, in this case a drill.  Best feature of all?  You can tell when participants aren’t engaging in the learning activities of the demo or following the speaker b/c their avatar will “fall asleep” – what a useful thing for law school classes!

Edtech.Boisestate.edu – shows a training ground for educators who want to get started in virtual pedagogy, (I definitely want to check out learning a new language – here they show French).

There is so much potential here, especially as worlds like Second Life become easier to build in and more accepted as a medium for communication.  What can publishers, educators, students, and others do to make this a meaningful tool and not just some gimmick?

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Innovation: How Does Your Team Use Share Point

Since becoming a manager for my company in mid-2007 our team has gone through a Share Point revolution.  Early on, we saw the potential for this under-used tool, but had little experience using it.  We found the following uses to be helpful to us as a Content Development Team

Wiki – MS Share Point wiki capabilities pale in comparison to Telligent’s, but still provide a great platform for info sharing.  Here are some examples of what we have done in this space:

  • Team Status Sheets – employees keep a running tally of the projects and releases on their plate, using brief descriptions which can be shared/edited at any time by members of the wiki.  As the manager, I set alerts to tell me when an editor changes something, cutting down on the amount of email that gets generated.  The quick nature of the updates and tools allows us to cut down on chatter that can confuse projects.  And best of all – it is entirely searchable.
  • Team Meeting Agendas – rather than sending an attachment via email, which will need to be revised before the meeting, we found posting these as wiki pages allowed team members to add items at anytime prior to the meeting.  It then serves as the template for notetaking during the meeting (whether live on Live Meeting or posted later), and helps archive our meeting discussions, follow up items, and useful info, which can be turned into a best practice wiki page and linked to directly from the agenda.
  • Evolving Best Practice Pages – we use the wiki to keep a living journal of our best practices rather than keeping this information stored in emails or documentation.  This provides flexibility to edit as we learn better ways of doing things, more robust linking, and a collaborative approach on the team to deciding the best way to work.  By using the Wiki, rather than a shared document, people are less hesitant to make a change b/c they know how easy it is to go back to a prior version if a mistake or practice that the group doesn’t agree with gets entered.  On a shared document, track changes can serve this function, but there is margin for error if the person making the change doesn’t choose track changes or uploads a different version.  Wiki just makes this a simpler task
  •  Projects – we use the wiki as a collaborative space to do project work in.  Rather than have a version on everyone’s desktop, project proposals get entered on the wiki, worked on and tracked in that space, and discussed via email (unfortunately MS Share Point doesn’t support commenting/tagging like Telligent). 

Interdepartmental Document Library Allows Coordination of Tracking Sheets & Info – in Academic publishing we deal with partners in Production, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, Fulfillment, and Acquisitions.  While much email is still generated, we have found that tracking sheets and shared information works best when kept in a document library.  To that end, we created separate document libraries on a single share point for each of these departments.  Rather than sending large files via email, we point each other to links in the libraries.  Also, things like Sales Rep Reports and Marketing Intelligence get stored here as well.

What are some of the innovative ways others are using Share Point?

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Putting My Mom on Facebook

“What’s this Facebook?” my mom asked.

“It’s a social networking site online,” I said.  “Why?”  She went on to tell me about a conversation she recently had with a distant relative through marriage.  My mom was telling this person the latest news about my 2-month old son, Gilad.  The distant relative through marriage responded, “oh I know.  And aren’t those pictures of him in that little tuxedo the cutest?”  Mom hadn’t seen those pictures b/c we hadn’t printed them out yet.  We don’t like sending photos via email b/c the files are big and clog up Inboxes (a pet peeve of mine).  The distant relative through marriage, however, had seen them on my wife’s Facebook page, which incidentally was the easiest place for us to post them.

“Why do I have to hear about my Grandson from her?” she asked.  “I’m the Grandma!”

“You should set up a profile,” I said.

“Oh no,” she said, “I don’t want my information out there …”  And there it was: the digital divide.  It reminded me of the bad press about pitbulls; great dogs when trained right despite their potential for great harm.  Online networks are the same thing, powerful tools with the potential to make our lives easier and better when used correctly.

What my mom and other traditional communicators (as well as some over-enthusiastic Millenials) have trouble with in the online era is that your information is likely out there anyway (credit reports, mailing lists, billing information, most of which is stored and transfered online).  Web 2.0 acculturation just puts the dissemination control in your hands.  Share as much or as little as you like about yourself in your online community so long as you connect in some way to those you do want to keep tabs on.

In Mom’s case, I told her about privacy settings, and how she can make herself invisible to searches and anyone else she does not want on her page.  We set up a Gmail account for her so she’d have one to use for sign up.  Then we created her skeletal profile, omitting all info other than her name and birthday.  Last, we sent friend requests to me and my wife (later that night my sister emailed me: “how funny is it that Mom’s on Facebook!”).

Rather than talk her through all this, I did the set up myself from my computer, with her on the phone so she could get the login and password.  It took 10 minutes to bring my mom into the 21st century and now she is on Facebook.  After we hung up the phone, I posted a message on her wall explaining the meaning of friend requests and encouraging her to browse other profiles of family mambers on Facebook.  Hopefully now she won’t be surprised by conversations with distant relatives through marriage and will be able to stay connected to her kids in this faster moving world.

Who else has coached a reluctant parent or family member through this process?


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