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Between the Posts: Presentation from Blog Indiana 2008

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to speak to a group of the most enthusiastic members of Indiana’s blogging community at Blog Indiana 2008 at IUPUI’s amazing new Campus Center. My topic was “Between the Posts” (which I admittedly have plenty of experience with) and it centered on using social media to connect people around your ideas, thoughts, posts, and so on.

Between the Posts

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: maratriangle mediasauce)

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Self-Organized Swarms: The Power of User-Generated Content (part II)

Thank you to everyone who attended the August 5 “The Power of User-Generated Content” event we held in Indianapolis.   We had over 90 people come together to learn about and experience how social media is changing the landscape for all types of businesses and organizations.  

Do you want to experience the event for yourself, even if you didn’t attend?  Great, you’re in luck.  

We encouraged everyone who attended to use social media to help us create a digital mosaic of the morning.  By using cameras, cell phones, and laptops with wifi, anyone could upload photos, blog, Twitter (microblog), and add their thoughts directly to the event’s Google site.  See it for yourself:

  • Flickr Stream - photos taken and uploaded by various people who attended the event.  To get photos to flow thru the stream, everyone tagged their photos with “sauceugc”.  
  • Twitter Stream - I enjoyed watching the various comments being made about the event.  It started with those of us attending, but then it quickly attracted people outside of the event.  If you start here, you can work your way in time order to see how the “back channel” conversations transpired.  It’s almost like getting a play-by-play and color commentary at the same time.
  • Presentation Slides - you can view and print off the slides we used via this Google document.  
  • Our Google Site - To bring all of these strands together, we created a very basic Google site.  While it’s not the most appealing design, you can see how simple tools can make a big impact.  
  • External Blogs - Anyone who is passionate about a topic or wants to share their perspective can do so with the world.  We were glad to have Ryan Crozier join us and even more pleased to know he had a good experience.  Check out his blog and see how we made sure to say thanks.  If we had someone blog negatively about us, we would have made sure to reply and share our perspective – whether that was to acknowledge a shortcoming or explain more clearly the point we were trying to make.  

The best thing about all these tools is that they’re easy-to-use and available to anyone.  Just what every revolutionary and evangelist loves to know.  

So how do you make sure these powers are used for good, not evil?  The key is having a solid strategy for how your organization is empowering your customers, clients, employees, friends, allies, etc. to use them to help share your story.  Without a strategy, you’ll be at the mercy of more organized, more passionate, and more driven people.

What advice and experiences do you have to share on how UGC can be harnessed to grow your organizations?

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Self-Organized Swarms: Embracing User-Generated Content Pt. 1

In the past week, I have had meetings with prospective and current clients about the need to engage with the self-organized swarms.  Fortunately, we’re holding a special event today entitled “The Power of User-Generated Content”.  If you’re unable to attend, come visit the Google site we’ve created to showcase different collaboration and social media tools that your clients/members/employees are using to talk about you: http://sites.google.com/site/ugcevent/.   

More to follow.

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Social Media Mania – Follow Up

Wow!!!!! Thanks to all for making our Social Media Mania event such a huge success. We had a packed house and even had to run out and get some extra chairs.

Mitch and I feel bad that we didn’t get to the end of the presentation but we were so pleased with the amount of questions and the excitement and passion you guys brought to the event.

You guys remember one lucky apple winner gets to spend a couple of hours with me on their problems. Just me and your team in a room figuring out what to do. It’ll be fun – and it’ll be FREE!

But in case you didn’t win, we have another thing that may help you. It’s called an RFP. Nope, it’s not what you think it is. It’s a REQUEST FOR PROBLEM.

We would like to know what is bothering your company. So just send me an email (no cost to you) with all the details of your issue (NDN here – we won’t share your email with anyone). Please include in the subject line – RFP.

As we said during the event, we were going to get you the links and information we presented. Well, here it is on Slideshare.

Social Media Mania – MediaSauce Powerpoint

We didn’t get to these things in the presentation but we built several items (very quickly – I might add because I just wanted you guys to see how easy this stuff is to put together) for our Apple Smushing Company including:

Then there were a ton of links that we talked about during the presentation.For Analytics:

For Blogging and Mircoblogging:

For Photos:

For Videos:

For Social Communities:

For Social Communities you can build:

For Wikis:

There’s a ton more. You saw all the logos…there are so many different technologies that it can be overwhelming to learn which ones are the best for your company. That’s where we come in. We can help you figure out your STORY (most important) and then your STRATEGY (almost but not quite as important). Then present your story in the easiest and most engaging way via 3D, animation, flash, html, print, radio and video. We can do quite a bit of stuff. We can also help with SEO, SEM, media planning, and strategic planning. Wow, even more stuff you could use.

Well, we hope you had fun the other day because we sure did and we look forward to seeing you at our future events. And feel free to pop by MediaSauce any time. It’s a fun place to hang out and share a coffee or some small talk. If you think we were crazy at the event, you should see where we work.

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10 Technology Resolutions for the New Year

You have enough New Year’s resolutions to keep up with in ’08, so don’t let your goal of learning about the latest gadgets get in your way. MediaSauce is here to keep you from falling off the virtual wagon. Here are 10 technology resolutions that are easy slam dunks for your list of “must do’s” for 2008. You don’t have to take on all of them, but be brave, roll up your sleeves, and challenge yourself to just a few. Believe me, you’ll thank us for it later!

1. Set up a Gmail account
Gmail is Google’s free email service. Not only do you get five gigs of storage (yes, five!), but you can send huge attachments and forward your other email accounts to your Gmail account. And, when you reply to email, Gmail will automatically reply via the account and email address the original email was sent to. Gmail is super easy for mobile use and even has a built in chat feature.

Try It: Gmail

2. Post Pics to Flickr
Whether you use your cell phone, a digital camera, or even an old-school film camera, digitizing your photos makes it easier to edit, post, and share them with friends and family. Rather than attaching huge images to emails, why not post them to one place and invite others to view them? Don’t have web space to host your images? Flickr to the rescue! Flickr is a free online photo sharing site that allows you to upload and share your pictures with anyone and everyone (or limit access to only those you’d like to allow to see them). It’s easy, fast, and works with any kind of device (you can even quickly upload pics from your phone!)

Try It: Flickr

3. Try Microblog
You’ve probably heard of blogs and maybe even write one. But sometimes writing a whole blog entry can be cumbersome. Why not Microblog? Rather than writing 500 words, microblogs limit you to just 140 characters encouraging quick, succinct posts that can be informative, entertaining, useful, and just plain fun! There are several microblog sites available, most of which have about the same features. They’re free and easy to use so give one a try!

Try It: Twitter Jaiku Pownce

4. Set up a Google alert for your name or your company’s name
Want to know what’s being said about you or your company on the Internet? Using a Google alert will ensure that you get immediate notifications (in your email) any time a key word gets mentioned in a blog, a web site, a news story etc. Google alerts are easy to set up, but be sure to be specific in your terms. Using a Google alert for a term like “Internet” or “architect” will yield more results than you can manage.

Try It: Google Alerts

5. RSS
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Here’s how it works: Perhaps there are several sites that you like to read (newspapers, magazines, blogs, business partner sites etc.) but you’ve grown tired of forgetting to read them, finding the links to the sites, or visiting the site only to find that there’s nothing new to read. RSS solves this problem. An RSS reader remembers and checks sites for you, alerting you when there is new content on your favorite sites and letting you preview (or read full versions) of the sites without having to look up every link or visit every site.

Try It: Google Reader
If you’re a Mac user try RSS Desktop Widget

6. Share a YouTube video
Viral Internet content is the stuff of legends! It’s the video that begins small and gets passed to millions of people. It’s the web site that goes from no traffic to thousands of visits simply by being passed from person to person. To understand how viral content works you really need to participate. To get a taste of how it all works go to Youtube.com, pick a video you like, and use the “Share” icon below the video. Recommend something fun or informative to a few people you know and check back on the number of views of the video (you can see this below the video on the YouTube page).

Try It: YouTube

7. Really use your cell phone
We all carry powerful communication devices in our pockets. Today’s average cell phone has 100 times the computing power of the largest room-filling computer in the 1970′s and yet most of us only make use of a few features. This year, do more than make phone calls. Send a text message, download a new ring, check a stock quote, or take a picture/video.

Try It: iPhone

8. Join a social network
Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Spock, or Plaxo, social networks are all the rage. But rather than being fads, social networks can actually be very useful technologies for creating new contacts, sharing information, finding new employees/partners, and more. Make this year “The Year of the Network” by singing up for one of the following social networking sites.

Try It:
Facebook (no longer just a site for college students)
LinkedIn (a networking site for professionals)
Spock (a slightly more social version of LinkedIn)
Plaxo (a combination of online address book and social network)

9. Put less than 20 words on PowerPoint slides
Not all technology is good technology – and even good technology can be misused. We’ve all sat through presentations in which the speaker has crammed an entire 30 page annual report into a dozen slides with text so small you’d need an electron microscope to read. Be the rebel of your office by breaking away and following the lead of today’s best public speakers! Make a resolution to not use bullets and loads of text in presentations, but to instead use powerful images and evocative key terms that will engage your audience rather than leave them all leaning forward and squinting to read your slides or snoozing in the back row.

Try It:
Slideshare
Presentation Zen

10. Play a video game
In the United States, there are four gamers for every one golfer. Video games are no longer the domain of pimply faced teenagers. Nintendo Wiis are in retirement homes; Baby Boomers are buying Nintendo DS’s “Brain Age” to stave off Alzheimer’s and keep their minds nimble. But more than just being fun, video games encourage new kinds of problem solving, learning through failure, and lots of other great skills that we can all benefit from. This year, rather than passing the controller to the nearest teenager, give a video game a shot. You just might learn something!

Try It: Wii and Nintendo

 About the author:

Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins is the Director of Emerging Technologies for Media Sauce, Carmel IN. She’s a pink-haired, tattooed, mother of triplets who plays video games, surfs the net, and predicts the future of the Internet. She can be reached at sarah dot robbins at mediasauce.com.

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