Archive for “April, 2007”

Podcasting 101

A story containing an interview I did for Microsoft Home magazine is up on the web. Titled (enthusiastically) Create Your Own Podcast! it’s a quick piece about how average people can make their own podcast and share it.

A trifle thin on the details around editing, I nevertheless like this article because it provides names and links to sites (and several options) that provide free or nearly free services for the average DIY-er. Power to the people!

Social Media Today Podcast – David Tebbutt

Welcome to the 11th edition of Social Media Today, the official podcast of the Social Media Collective. In this episode we chat with David Tebbutt, early computer pioneer, creator of BrainStorm software, environmentalist, writer, media skills coach and past member of the Social Media Collective.

Click to listen:
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Do subscribe to our feed – we’ll be interviewing a new member of the Social Media Collective each week, the podcast is published fresh every Wednesday. You can even leave us audio comments right here using the handy tool below.

Show Notes:
U.K.-based David, a natural-born storyteller, tells us about his start programming computers in the 1960′s, his interest in sustainable development, how he became interested in and skilled at communications, BrainStorm – thought organizing software he wrote years ago which is still in use, and how social media cost him $60,000 (approximately 44,000 Euros). We discuss del.icio.us, taxonomies vs. folksonomies, Joshua Schachter’s brain, wikis & their use, Library Thing, his love of tag clouds, the evolution of tagging language, drinking from the firehose, the frustrations and potential embarrassments of Second Life, and the wonders of OPML.

To leave an audio comment, use the “my voicemail” tool to record direct from your computer’s microphone, or leave a text comment (which we will read aloud on the show in a voice that we imagine to be like yours) simply leave a comment on this blog.

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My Odeo Channel (odeo/c5980d54f89f57b8)

Traditional broadcast advertising is spam

What does this describe?

[The use of] of electronic … systems to send unsolicited bulk messages

Pretty much every ad sent over the airwaves. It’s also the Wikipedia definition of spam.

Broadcast advertisers are spamming television viewers – the only thing that makes TV ads not spam is the economic model. They’re just as annoying and disruputive and time-wasting as email spam and just as unaligned to my interests 90% of the time (no, I don’t need any Cialis, and no, I don’t want to buy a Chevy Tahoe Ford Freestyle).

Hat tip to Jenna Buckle for planting the seed.

Social Media Today Podcast – Mike Prosceno

Welcome to the tenth edition of Social Media Today, the official podcast of the Social Media Collective. In this episode we chat with Mike Prosceno, Vice President, Global Communications for SAP and social media evangelist.

Click to listen:
podcasticon.gif

Do subscribe to our feed – we’ll be interviewing a new member of the Social Media Collective each week, the podcast is published fresh every Wednesday. You can even leave us audio comments right here using the handy tool below.

Show Notes:
Mike explains his role in blogger/social media outreach at SAP and how he got there, “accidentally on purpose”, how he’s trying to explain what’s going on online and evangelize inside his organization, his take on the significance of social media to large companies, the SAP developer and business social networks, some of the benefits that SAP has accrued from these efforts, Mike’s plans for the future of internal social media from a communications perspective, his new blog, his decision to blog about exactly how and why business should use these tools & platforms in communications and how big he thinks the whole web 2.0 thing is. We discuss the fact that no one wants to know the ROI on lunch and Mike explains the concept behind SAP’s Sapphire events, which are social media in action – rather than top-down, the company has realised the value of fostering relationships within the ecosystem that surrounds them and lets the participants run the show.

To leave an audio comment, use the “my voicemail” tool to record direct from your computer’s microphone, or leave a text comment (which we will read aloud on the show in a voice that we imagine to be like yours) simply leave a comment on this blog.

SMC Podcast Alley feed {pca-98374b14f8d1d5121d18320e6d8ee4fb}
My Odeo Channel (odeo/c5980d54f89f57b8)

Showing just how critical social networks have become

When students at Virginia Tech wanted to let friends and family know they were ok – they created groups on social networking sites like Facebook. These social networking platforms, heretofore used for far more lighthearted purposes, proved to be a quick and efficient method of not only communicating but also organizing into meaningful groups.

Without in any way diminishing the terrible events that unfolded yesterday, the way people used these new technologies illustrates both their pervasiveness and utility. Emergency response organizations would do well to take these examples into account – in this case, students self-organized and set up their own “communications centres”, places where friends and family could locate them, freeing up valuable resources.

What a horrible way to learn something.

Update: More along the same lines (but better written & thought out) from Marianne Richmond at BlogHer.

The first-ever User Generated Presentation

Today I facilitated what I believe to be the first-ever User Generated Presentation at The Human Web CapCHI workshop in Ottawa. The idea behind it was to bring the principles of social media to the traditional presentation format – rather that having me (or anyone else) arbitrarily decide what information the audience required on the topic of social media, I let them pull what they wanted.

In planning the session, I reached out to a group I belong to called The Social Media Collective. (This was also one of the questions asked today, “What is the SMC?” The answer is, and I quote, “A diverse group of bloggers, consultants, investors, entrepreneurs, journalists, and analysts who represent the web’s best thinking on social media, marketing and Web 2.0″ It’s basically an online club for people interested in social media). Interest within the SMC was high, and I got some great suggestions from Susan Scrupski, David Tebbutt, Dennis McDonald, Tom Mandel and Brian Solis, which I incorporated into the presentation:

1. Don’t start with PowerPoint, because that will get the group into passive mode.
2. Use a collaborative tool to record the session.
3. Don’t forget to cover the basics. (actually, I used this as a backup, borrowing a list of questions Brian had posted on his blog in case the conversation stalled; we didn’t actually get to those).

The session went well – unfortunately, the technology choice was not ideal, and didn’t allow for multiple real-time authors (people kept getting dumped out, and found it fairly frustrating). Nonetheless, the enthusiasm level for the concept was very high – rather than standing at the front of the room, I wandered with a wireless mic and passed the hand-held around. There were many times (as I had hoped) that participants answered questions themselves; I liked it best when I passed the mic directly from one person to another – I felt more like a facilitator than a talking head.

The major presentation issue was around the technology, that it didn’t serve the purpose intended (as a method of recording important data covered during the session) and also that I didn’t refer to it enough – lots of questions were posted there. Eventually, people stopped using it (what was recorded is posted here), and fellow-presenter, the excellent Peter Merholz stepped in. As we discussed specific things (OpenID, SunSilk’s Wig Out viral video, Wiki Patterns, etc.) he kept pace with us and brought the sites up on the projector. This was very cool, and will be incorporated future UGPs.

Overall, I think the thing that amazed me most was the enormous volume of information that was exchanged – we covered so, so much more than we could have if I had simply stood at the front and dictated, largely because we leveraged our collective intelligence and curiosity, since discovery is as much about the questions as the answers.

I’ve given everyone who attended the link to this blog, and am hoping we can continue the discussion here. Further to that, I’m posting below a bunch of the questions we didn’t get to, and I’ll do my best to answer them:

Do you have examples of companies using social networks to improve communication and collaboration inside large, and distributed organizations?

IBM would be probably the best-known example of a very large company using social media inside to improve communications, but there are lots of others. Big Blue has internal blogs that team members can use to communicate their expertise and share information about different projects. In a recent Edelman PR study, 34% of the 75 Fortune 500 companies surveyed had forums, groups or message boards on their Intranets.

What are the most effective ways to draw people to a new blog?

There are a couple of ways to approach this – but they both revolve around the same principle: you have to have interesting content, for, “If it is boring, they will not come” (I just quoted myself on that one). So, you can do a little blogger outreach, connect with the community of interest that you’d like to join, and let them know you’re there and that they might be interested in what you’re doing. Or, you can let things grow organically like a “real” blogger – linking to other blogs, participating in the community, and letting interested parties find you. Actually, no matter whether you market your blog or not, you still need to participate in the community via links and comments. It really depends on your need for speed – the outcome will probably be the same in most cases since success is determined by the quality and timeliness of your content and participation.

Doug: asked how to leverage web 2.0 for companies to make money?

That’s a big question, Doug – and in our work we find that most of our clients are really interested in adding value to what they’re already doing to make money, rather than establishing a social media-based business model.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our experiment, and the proof will be in the pudding – I will post the evaluation scores from the event once they’re in.

How many Canadians have read a blog?

That’s the 7,213,629-million citizen question, and the numbers are wildly different, depending on who you ask. Let me explain:

According to the 2006 Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, released by Ipsos Reid and conducted in Q4 2006, 84% of Canadians have Internet access from somewhere (27,532,935) and 36% of us have read a blog, for a grand total of 8,810,539 blog readers in Canada.

HOWEVER – comScore would tend to disagree. According to these stats, also gathered during Q4 last year, though I cannot locate the original research, only an article about it, (brought to my attention by the fine Ed Lee) 58.2% of online Canadians have visited a blog, which makes for a rather larger figure of 16,024,168 – almost double the Ipsos numbers.

Now, obviously I’m no statistician, but what gives? Why the huge disparity?

Social Media Today Podcast – Shel Israel

Welcome to the ninth edition of Social Media Today, the official podcast of the Social Media Collective. In this episode we hear from Shel Israel, co-author of Naked Conversations, soon-to-be author of Global Neighbourhoods, well-known blogger and startup consultant.

Click to listen:
podcasticon.gif

Do subscribe to our feed – we’ll be interviewing a new member of the Social Media Collective each week, the podcast is published fresh every Wednesday. You can even leave us audio comments right here using the handy tool below.

Show Notes:

Shel rubs in the fact that he’s in a warm place and I am not, talks about the thesis behind his new book, Global Neighbourhoods, I pipe up about how Statistics Canada and their ongoing study, Our Lives in Digital Times, is tracking the same phenomenon he’s planning to write about, he talks about what it will mean for business when the “Marketing Teflon” generation comes of age (have they been innoculated against advertising by repeated exposure?), how the structure of mainstream media turns everything into a confrontation, how social media can humanize that content, why the byline policy of the Economist annoys him. We discuss our agreement that objectivity in journalism is a myth and not necessarily always desireable, Shel’s work as a consultant with startup firms, and then he starts in with the gardening/suntanning thing again and I make a crack about dogsledding to my igloo.

To leave an audio comment, use the “my voicemail” tool to record direct from your computer’s microphone, or leave a text comment (which we will read aloud on the show in a voice that we imagine to be like yours) simply leave a comment on this blog.

SMC Podcast Alley feed {pca-98374b14f8d1d5121d18320e6d8ee4fb}

My Odeo Channel (odeo/c5980d54f89f57b8)

Business is asking – do you have the answers?

This is a great post from the PJA Blog, which is authored by… actually, I have no idea My bad – authors names are listed on the home page of the blog, but not individual posts. They don’t show who has authored individual posts. Odd. Anyway, it’s a great post nonetheless, asking (and answering) the following questions:

1. What are other BtoB companies doing about social media? Where are the shining examples?

2. What is our assessment of the power, reach and influence of social media?

3. What capabilities do we need in house to get started? For example, what are the requirements for doing a corporate blog? Is it a full-time employee, or 50% of an FTE’s time? Who should play editorial moderator?

4. What kind of return should we expect? How will we know if we’re successful?

These questions are asked within the B2B context, but are applicable (and I have heard the same sentiments expressed) in almost any market segment. Pretty good read.