Monthly Archives: January 2011

Contacts Visualized

Cool tool called InMaps from LinkedIn Labs allows you to visualize your LinkedIn network. Here’s mine:

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A Healthy List of Great Companies

Everyone loves a good list. If you’re a blogger, you know that a good list will drive a good amount of traffic. However, there is still a couple of lists that hold significant interest and weight.  FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work for is one of those lists.

One surprise this year was the number of healthcare companies that made the list.  Twelve. Twelve healthcare companies made it. This got me thinking that with all the bad economic times and troubles in the world, can helping people mean more than money and perks.

I look up some research and found this interesting quote: “Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable.”

Looking at this list of companies whose employees speak highly of their workplace is inspirational and this year it seemed a little softer, healthier, happier.  And that is a good thing.

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Google Art Celebrates Dr. MLK’s Dream

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,”

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What’s with All the Questions?

“Good questions outrank easy answers.” — Paul A Samuelson

If you’ve been online lately you’ve noticed a lot of answering going on. There’s been an explosion of social media tools that look to create an environment for knowledge sharing. From the professional LinkedIn Answers, to the friendly Facebook Answers, to the personal Formspring and now the new kid on the block, Quora. And that’s not including the informal question and chat session that take place on Twitter on a daily basis.

With all these questions, it makes you wonder if anyone has the answer.  It also leads me to believe we’re in the golden age of knowledge management by having so many accessible tools to gain, share and distribute information on a variety of topics. One of the key goals of KM is it informs, rather than instruct. This information enables individuals or organizations to move towards collaboration at a quicker pace.

While some of these question platforms are easier to use than others, the good thing is people now have a variety of ways to gain information and share knowledge. Here’s how I’m seeing these platforms being utilized:

1. Demonstrate Expertise: Some of the content being created by individuals is quite informative and thought out. Users of these answer boards are using these platforms as a way to establish themselves as experts on a topic or showcase their understanding of a topic.

2. Setting up the Sell: I’ve had some cases where I’ve answered a question in a question forum and was promotly solicited a product that solved for the question being asked. The person who asked the question was the salesguy. It’s an interesting way of gaining visibility to people who are experiencing these issues and identifying qualified leads.

I’ve also seen some really good vendor selection discussions that are educating the broader audience on pros and cons in selecting vendors. These are important conversations to be monitoring if you’re responsible for vendor selection or if you’re one of the vendors being discussed.

3. Networking: This is different than showing expertise, rather this is about finding like-minded, like-tasked people to continue the conversation offline.  Peer mentoring is a great way to extend your skill set.

The last example is probably the most important along the model of true KM.  The path to collaboration is the most important step along the KM model.  Being able to turn positive business outcomes from knowledge received is key to helping improve organizations and individual performance.

If you approach these and other message boards with that mindset, I’m sure you’ll be able to look past the noise and find the value of the the question.  I’m curious to hear the ways you’re using these forums and innovative ways you’re seeing them being used.

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Filed under public relations, repuatation management, social media, Uncategorized

Another Book about Social Media…YAWN

Everyone wants to see their name in print. Even those that have managed to build successful businesses that buck the traditional way of doing business and “old”  media.

There’s been a number of books published on the topic since Groundswell first came out. Books written by social media people…that were not written with the help of community. That do not have ongoing communities to discuss the book, well free ones at least. It seems the biggest badge of honor for a social media person to receive is the opportunity to participate in old media.  Quite comical really.

About three years ago I was invited to participate in Don Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital book. There were discussion groups created where a number of us talked about the trends and concepts Don was writing about. In fact, I still connect with some of the people that were in those chat rooms.  A book about the digital age, developed and enhanced through digital channels.  Perfect.

Keeping in that tradition I came across this book on Twitter. Yawnn…NO! It’s a book written about Twitter by the Twitter community. Masterminded by Justin McCullough (@mccjustin) and complete with multiple writers, multiple view points. YES! This is new way of doing old media.  Go to embracingtwitter.com and download your FREE copy. Learn from a list of Twitterati what you can’t in 140 characters.

Thanks Laura (@pistachio) for being a champion of the Twitter community and showing me this gem of an ebook.

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The Fifteen Most Hated American Companies Of 2010 – 24/7 Wall St.

Think a company’s reputation doesn’t matter?  A look at these 15 companies and why they made the list will show consumers demand trust.  In 2010, some companies broke their trust, others are un-trustworthy, while others have consumers trusting that they are up to no good.

The actions of a brand and the promises they break speak volumes on how the public perceives the brand.  It’s also worth noting there are several brands on here that have highly publicized and admired social media program.  Two ways to look at this: either social media does nothing to improve reputation or these companies have such an acceptance of their poor reputation that they will pull all the stops to right the ship.

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Thoughts on Tucson

Rhetoric is defined as the art of speaking or writing effectively. Sadly, it’s being recognized as a dark art this morning.  The day after fatal shootings rocked the country after one of our politicians was hurt along with her constituents, the country is debating whether or not our frustrating political environment has lead to this tragedy.

You don’t have to be a professional communicator to know words carry weight.  The words we use and the imagery we create with them are powerful.  Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…well maybe this time they did.

This is not a political post, rather a post on how we go about the political process.  Civility, respect and confidence in our political process has been lost.  At a time when congress has its lowest approval ratings ever, it is sad it will take the loss of innocent lives to make politicians think twice about the words they use.   The positions they take and they chose to rally their constituents to support ideology.

Hopefully now we can stop invoking fear and machismo and start using sound-thinking and judgement and a little compromise.  At least that’s what I’ll be praying for, along with Rep. Giffords, Christina Taylor Green and the 5 other dead and more injured.

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