Social Media Feed

Social Media in practice

As I adventure and explore the web new tools, services and web 2.0 platforms emerge, evolve and disappear. Some platforms become firm favorites while others get superseded. It may be that new services provide better features, new features or more aesthetically pleasing environments to work within. User experience is as important as an audiences. It may be the discovery of a new medium is easier to update or enhances the reach and distribution of content. Take this blog for example. I love the Typepad platform. It is contained and very stable, it is also well established. Since creating my first post back in 2007 it has had a purpose, to document my practice and journey. I want it to be about my practice, a place to share my findings and a place to evaluate my progress. This also means I intend it to be read by a certain audience, those who are interested in what I am doing or want to know what I'm up to as a practitioner. I've never wanted it to be a news feed or a revenue generator. I do however want it to reflect my activity across the entire landscape of social media. I want to aggregate my highs and lows, my challenges and celebrations. This is my showcase. But currently it is rather neglected. This is my reflection.

This blog should

  • Report my activities
  • Review my progress
  • Regale my milestones
  • Renew my thinking

This blog should aggregate my activity. As my last post was in August it is at present and resounding failure! Failure is not to be reviled but learnt from and resolved through self discovery. I know I need to formally blog more but I enjoy the adventure, I enjoy the exploration, I love to share.

Where is CJ on the web? The side columns collate some of that activity.

I love AudioBoo. Since getting my iPhone 4 this audio blogging service has released me for my terror of typing text. It has an embeddable widget and can be seen in the column on the right. I can also embed individual 'Boos' in to posts. This is my latest at the time of writing this post.

Audioboo produces excellent quality audio recordings with out having to worry about bad hair days! After recording hit the publish button, take a photo to accompany the post, add a title, some contextual tags even a twitter hashtag before finishing with the save & upload button. AudioBoo autoposts to Twitter so I can share my interviews and personal musings immediately with my Twitter followers. Adding an event hashtag pushes the media to the hashtag stream too. Brilliant. I hope you can see why I love this platform.

AudioBoo also autoposts to Posterous.

I love Posterous. Blogging with nothing more than an email address. It also has a neat iPhone app. The email subject line is the post's title, the body text in the email becomes the blog post content and audio, video and image files can be attached just as you would into an email. Hit send and hey presto you are published. I tend to post event audio and photos there. No great insights just a record of the event for friends who were unable to attend to listen to. Its quick and simple. Posterous content does not feed in to this blog.

Gregg Fraley talks to January's Second Wednesday crowd

The link above is my Posterous post of Photos, Audio captured with LiveScribe and an intoductory sentance to the Second Wednesday event I attended. Posterous has autoposting abilities but I select to cross post manually to Twitter preventing AudioBoo and Posterous making identicle posts. Social Media echos are just so annoying!


Doing business on social networks

via www.yourbusinesschannel.com

On your marks

I help businesses and organisations understand and implement social media bringing valuable new channels of communication and ways of operating a business by demystifying the world we call social media. Consulting a social media practitioner gets you started in a controlled and manageable manner building a foundation for growth.  Your Business Channel host of the video above have a web strategy channel. Part of a social media strategy is personal development. Web TV channel like these prepare the ground in many cases for you to peruse engaging a social media practitioner. You want to do that too. The question will then be how do they do that and how much would it cost. Explore the web, nurture curiosity in your competitors social media activity. Digital curtain twitching!

Get set

While helping others I also have to continue developing my own understanding and keep up with developments. This is where I envy businesses and I think businesses miss a trick when it comes to social media and technologies. A social media practitioner who you trust is a continuing asset. On a retainer they can guide you, advise you, inform you and help you maintain a sustainable social technologies infrastructure. Engaged for a project or strategy period they can open your eyes to a world of cost effective services, tools and platforms helping you embrace and integrate the advantages and steer from the pitfall. The key factor is you the business being proactive and learn all you can. If you finish your consultancy and no retainer is in place read their blogs, follow their twitter observe and engage. I love nothing more after a consultation period than to see tweets and updates its much like seeing a child take its first steps. Ask questions but don't be disappointed if you don't get personal responses after all you don't have a retainer. What you can do is influence the blog content.

GO!

I've been reflecting on a mantra from my business mentor Stuart Ross @topactioncoach on Twitter and the continued quest for knowledge and understanding and its application to my clients businesses diverts me from my own businesses infrastructure. To paraphrase - Are you working  ON your business or IN your business? A woods from the trees kind of rhetoric. Also..The definition of a successful business is one that doesn't need you to be their to function.

I'm continually trying to balance the ON and IN equation. Where are you at?


QR codes - in action. Your turn.

I've recently been including QR codes and their potential use within business to amplify Social Media. To connect offline media with online activity. Thought I'd share this on my blog.

The applications I use and recommend are:

Mobile BarCodes
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-generator
(for code generation, I use this one)
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software
(for code generation, I use this also)

Kaywa
http://qrcode.kaywa.com (for generating codes)
http://reader.kaywa.com (for QR code reader)

The code reader I have installed on my phones is UpCode
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/#upcode

A pause for thought... when creating a QR code think about the value of the destination being accessed on a mobile devise. It should be a location directly relevant and information oriented for the user.  An article, a podcast, a video greeting an event or promotion code. For Creative Nottingham I'd suggest a QR code to the RSS feed http://www.creativenottingham.com/feed/atom or to a mobile optimised version of the Creative Nottingham site using Mippin Mobilizer http://www.mippinmaker.com

I've featured QR code potential in my presentation to BAFA (British Arts Festivals Association), E-business Club's Transitional ICT breakfast briefing around the East Midlands and for Creative Nottingham's social media introduction presentation based on the one day workshops I delivered to the FEU training (Federation of Entertainment Unions).

It's my objective to help business understand and leverage social media of all kinds. QR codes seem to has spiked great interest. For example on my business card I have to linking to a publication on ISSUU, Twitter for Beginners. 

T4B QRcode Get a code reader for your phone and try it. 

Let me know what you think? Useful?






23 June 2010 - Update... further pointers
This post was originally triggered by a presentation I delivered to Creative Nottingham and subsequently became a topic for discussion in their huddle network. I've blogged my initial pointers as thought they'd make an informative blog post. I added this to the discussion. Creative Nottingham's Susi O'neill created an optimised version of their web site as a result of the discussion.

"When including a QR on printed material I'd also consider the life span of the material. If it's going to be around for a while you might consider creating a QR code to a specific page you can edit containing links with the Mippin optimised version being top. This then becomes a mobile resource which you can update with out invalidating the QR code on the printed material.That would be solution if you add incentives at a later date as you suggested in your post.

Directing a QR code to the Mippin version would be dynamic of course as it would update when you added a post to the main site."


A year on - social media - Solutions for Business

Transitional ICT - Solutions for Business

It is always my objective with PCM creative to breakdown the huge umbrella term "social media" in to avenues of application rather than focusing on the gadgets, platforms, tools and services themselves.

"Don't add technology to the way you do things, change the way you do thinks when you know what the technology can do"

Over the past 2 years as my business, PCM creative has evolved from web design integrating social spaces, social networks, social platforms, tool and sharing services to an integrating social resources consultancy and media making service I've learnt as much from putting together the presentations, workshops and courses as the delegates I've delivered to.

It has altered the course of my business and provided me with tremendous opportunities and humbling network connections. It has enabled me to investigate the many facets and case studied business benefits social media affords hand on sharing the findings and experience of that journey with my clients as they begin there's.

This time last year I delivered a series of Breakfast Briefing for Business Link introducing the fundamentals of social media for business.

The reception was if I'm honest a little cold. I generated a murmur of interest. I was under scrutiny and encountered a lot of sceptics. Bottom line and ROI, metrics all of which were in their infancy. Not all the responses were negative and closed. I did make connections and started companies and organisations off on their own social media adventure. In most instances it was direction, focus on existing defined USPs and reassurance that the platforms they had stumbled upon, the ones bubbling up in the mainstream could be applied effectively to business. The ongoing dialogue was also important especially discussions on how their online networks were flourishing and sharing progress reports to develop a strategy going forward. More than anything this support ignited the development we later work on to emerge as projects or campaigns.

This time I aimed to expand on this further introducing the advanced such as Geo Locating mobile apps, QR codes and Flowtown. I'm finding curiosity and journeys that have begun and most encouragingly probing questions to get the most from the platforms rather than blind adoption.

Presentations across the East Midlands untill the end of June 2010


SMIB10 - Session Attention!

As I spend a focused amount of time tweeting I was looking forward to reading the blogs that resulted from the stunning speakers schedule, on which I have not been disappointed. Social Media in Business 2010 was an inspirational day and I met so many people traveling on the social media road of adventure.

Blogs tagged SMIB10 were picked up by Google Alerts.

I mustn't forget the suburb iPadio interviews masterfully carried out by Ben Ellis

Collected Media gathered together using widgetbox

The sessions of most interest to me for amplification to my arts based network came in the final session of the day.

Mitzi Szereto: Author, Blogger & Vlogger - 15 mins

SMIB10 - Mitzi Szereto

Lloyd Davis: Social Artist & Master Community Building - 15mins

SMIB10 - Lloyd Davis

Clare Hudson: CEO In4Merz, Hudson PR - 15 mins

SMIB10 - Clare Hudson

Peter Bouvier: Marketing & Communications NHS Direct - 15mins

SMIB10 - Peter Bouvier

Heather Taylor: Chief Blogger & Social Media Manager PayPal UK - 15 mins

SMIB10 - Heather Taylor

As a notoriously poor coherent note taker I recorded them for playback. Recordings captured are listed above. (Audio files were uploaded on 11 July.)

In all it was a day of knowledge and networking. So, if you attended what was your BFO? Blinding Flash of the Obvious! Your light bulb moment or 'Wow the web can do that!' moment? For me it had to be auto-tweeting from Powerpoint, during a presentation.


Social Network Purging Day

A collective excuse for spring cleaning stale social relationships

Have you wanted to defriend that person for ages? Social networking Purging Day invite you to spend a day united, collectively ripping off the band-aid, and get all those dusty “relationships” out of our news feeds and inboxes for good on Saturday, March 20th.

For example...an excert from the SNPD tumblr

"facebook

This will most likely be the one that people need to deal with most. Clean out all those friends that aren’t really friends. You need to determine where to draw the line for yourself. Maybe it’s anyone you don’t have a personal face to face relationship with. Whatever it is, determine your cutoff criteria. Unfortunately, facebook doesn’t make it that easy to remove friends. If you need instructions they have a page about it here. Also, go through and delete applications, groups, fan pages, etc. that have become irrelevant."

Digital hoarding is effortless but polluting. Many people say to me that the information in their social stream isn't worth reading.The trouble is if post, magazines and newspapers piles up in your office or at home (my dinning room table is an embarrassment) a time comes when enough is enough and 99% of it gets binned and recycled. Digital junk just expands.

PCMproject PCM's Top Twitter Tips

Understand who you follow (listen to) and who follows you (listens to you)

  • Friend or Follow gives you an avatar view of this relationship
  • My Tweeple lets you analyze that further delving in to inactive tweeters and most active tweeters. You can friend and unfollow from here too.
  • Identify your top ten most active followers
  • Identify your top ten most active friends
  • Analyse and evaluate the results
Understand your impact and reach
  • Klout provides analysis of your activity across twitter benchmarking you against other tweeters in your network.
  • Twitter Analyzer gain a greater understanding of when your network is active on Twitter and who you engaged with most.
  • Tweetreach check out the reach achieved by an event hashtag or Twitter name.
  • Identify your top 10 most valuable tweeters who contribute to extending your reach in Twitter.
  • Analyse and evaluate the results
  • Document for reference

Finally...Read the best bits from your streamlined Twitter account with The Twitter Times a service that delivers to you the news and buzz as tweeted by your Twitter Network. The Twitter Times is a real-time personalized newspaper generated from your Twitter account

My (@pcmcreative) Twitter Times

What are your spring cleaning citeria? I have to admit Facebook is my most neglected and mismanaged network mainly because it doesn't return any investment I put in for business. I really should purge but on the other hand I want to provide options for people to engage. Facebook is most definitely a quandary.

Twitter Tips I can offer. Facebook tips anyone?

10 Twitter Tools to Organize Your Tweeps from Mashable

Media Camp London 3 - part 2

MediaCamp is an "unconference". Once the date of an event is announced a wiki type collaboration web presence is created. Anyone wishing to attend, assist or present are free to update the collaborative space to declare their intentions.

MediaCampLondon3 was slightly different in that an event platform Eventbrite provided a payment system and event portal for delegates with the Venue details, sponsors, event info, directions and delegates signed up to attend in an Eventbrite event page. During sign up intention to present and a request for a session title was included in the form. Links included in the body of the event page aggregated relevant web content:

Here we are at part 2 of my MediaCampLondon post... after lunch

A suggested topic caught my eye when the event details first appeared online.

  • Social Media Ethics

Whether its codes of conduct, best practice or end user policy the accepted structural controls laid out relating to Social Technology are in their infancy. Protection or Oppression? Safe access or restricted boundaries? Who is the protected? Knowledge is power and with it comes responsibility. Following a consistent code of behavior and practice backing up open and honest engagement builds trust.

Since my first engagement with virtual worlds and then social media acceptable behavior in a space with faceless encounters and constructed reality, who are we? Has intriged me. Who are you?

Actors play their roles in a play, become the characters they portray but when the curtain goes down they are the character no longer. Playing roles, trying on different morals and behaviours is one of the underlying attraction to actors. Being someone else. The greatest actors draw from an inner reservoir of experiences but they slowly drown if they loose sight of who they really are. Identity is wrapped up with ethics.

I spent over 6 months playing one character in a play each performance was 60 minutes living as someone else. Playing a role and living your life. This is all very esoteric, how does this relate to social media?

Ethics at MediaCamp

MCL3 Sylwia Presley Sylwia Presley presented Social Media Ethics. The session began with a 20min presentation and continued as a Q&A discussion.

Sylwia talks with great authority using case study examples to illustrate her key headlines. Real stories, of successes and failings throughout the public consciousness of social media. And not illustrated ad-nausium with statistics.

- (N)etiquette
- Privacy/Content ownership
- Transparacy
- Accountability

.... Trust

The only difference between online and offline content is the communication channel. I knew I was going to learn valuable insights when Sylwia expressed this sentiment.

It was about message not method. Delivering a consistent message across an organisation needs formalising but as her presentation illustrated, not solidifying. These formalised rules set out guidelines of best practice. While referencing Twitter Sylwia noted Twitter ettiquette with ethics evolving as behaviours change. How to behave, what is acceptible? what is not. These things do change. The use of auto-response tweeting to new followers was just one example.

The field of Ethics is notoriously difficult to define. Everyone's ethics differ by degrees.

So...How to capture without distraction?

I decided to Qik, live stream to my Qik account. (with Sylwia's permission) The thing a like about this method of capture is not having content hanging around waiting for action. Point and Shoot, the upload takes place in real time and with a player embedded in my blog I have instant blog content. Qik also provides a share facility enabling me to tweet the fact I am streaming live in case any one in my network should want to watch.

Sylwia presented for 20 minutes which I streamed. The following Q&A I did not stream. This was a conscious decision one take, no distractions or frustrations that I just missed a great phrase. I listened as a delegate while capturing the content.

Set aside the time to watch this through. It contains gold dust! The slideshow is also embedded below. Sylwia blogged her MediaCampLondon day too.

Next up was my own session "Amb:IT:ion - helping creative organisations develop digitally", a reflection of the journey and understanding I gained working with the project.


2010 the conversation has begun… virtual worlds and social spaces

You would like to know a little about my real world and virtual world cross over events I imagine? (Was my response to my first lead of the decade enquiring about my event facilitation skills. http://virtualrealityliving.com/3d-virtual-training-center )

Very few people in my current environment will give virtual worlds any time. I however am passionate about them as business assets (even if only a 3D extension of a 2D website or social space) As a result I'm little reserved in who I offer my Virtual World service to. Cynicism and inflexible thinking towards the social web is a tough nut to crack.

The current leap of faith is social media. Businesses are running headlong in to a light they spent most of 2008 and 09 declaring as an absurd waste of time but now it's becoming mainstream everyone is at it for better or worse!

Virtual worlds are still a leap too far here and now. I'd be happy to make my skills and experiences available to your organisation if you require input.

… I continued.

In SecondLife I have been Custodian and Curator of Pilot Theatre's 3D presence since 2007. It's dormant but the company feel it's important to keep it, even mothballed as it is. I am hoping to spend a little time updating and housekeeping in the year to come. The location is Pilot
Theatre in SL search. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Earth/210/35/27

I have curated events in SL as a host in-world and as a coordinator facilitating chat streams across group chat windows for live music events within SL running back channels for the event team and venue chat for the audience/delegates and live streamed real world events in Livestream.com. A basic event includes monitoring and engaging a multi-streamed Twitter audience too. Most importantly I'm an approachable entity in the off-line, virtual world or online environment.

I've been described as an Internet Fairy, Event Guide, and Ambassador, essentially I help my client’s participants/event delegates new to online social spaces/community or event, online or virtual, experience the events and ultimately help them feel at ease with the technological interface. That is the highest hurdle! Just like the magic of theatre, virtual worlds require participants to suspend disbelieve and become immersed. You can't dip in your toe you have to give yourself over to it for the time the experience lasts.

Where do I come from? (This was my attempt to quantify the circumstances throughout my career that bought me to the point I am today)  I was a theatre stagemanager before moving in to digital tech development as the social media phenomenon exploded on to the scene. Here I found my niche as an online and virtual event curator and network custodian.

Search "pcmcreative" in Google and you will find my digital footprint. http://bit.ly/7hiTsg

I use the research, resource and acquisitioning skills from my theatre days. "Attention to detail and fiscal compromising scales" to balance budgetary restraints capitalising on freemium social media tools, services and platforms to develop digital development strategies for creative organisations and creative thinking businesses.

A virtual world asset is a development I offer to clients who see beyond the 2D realm of webpages. Most frequently it is 2D web development and enhancement I am consulted on. Clients want to bring social media consumers to their websites to purchase goods and services.

The time of the virtual community will emerge, some are here now. Social Media consumption is the current tidal rip.

I'd welcome digital development and virtual world commissions and be delighted to discuss any area of interest to you (and to you blog reader – thanks for reading this far) from my response here.

Aside to blog readers... "When did your conversation begin?"