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Bryan is no longer blogging here; check his last blog post to find him at his new home
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Now blogging at BryanPerson.com

Last month Facebook unveiled Facebook Platform to enable developers to use Facebook’s API and integrate applications into the social networking site.

MyQuestions Facebook application

One my favorite applications in MyQuestions (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to see the application), rehabilitation herbal which makes it easy for your Facebook friends to give you instant feedback to any question that’s on your mind.

Earlier this week, ask I posed the following question to my Facebook pals:

Which is closer to your philosophy on optimal blog design/usability? a) Simpler is better. Don’t clog up the sidebar. b) Give the reader plenty of options — the more, women’s health the merrier. Widgetes are the new black. Include them in the sidebar, too!

Here are the responses:

Ted Demopoulos
Simple is good, but I am immoderate! No complexity unless for a reason. And about those calendars in the sidebar, why?

June Macdonald
In moderation :) now I just need to practise what I preach

Christie Goodman APR
Quick loading. No flashing. Useful to visitors. Navigation aides — I love to see blog rolls, recent comments, recent posts, etc. Clarity — visitors should be able to tell what each item is for.

Whitney Hoffman
Moderation in all things- too much clutter is distracting; I love some widgets.

Shel Holtz
Is there something in-between? I think you can provide a lot off content without being overwhelming. I’m with Scott Monty on this one!

Chip Griffin
Not wild about widgets unless they are very compelling. I do like giving multiple nav options though (categories, date, popular posts, etc.)

Scott Monty
I think there’s a way to strike a balance between simple (aka “readable”) and information-rich. I’m all for giving my readers options, but want to do so in a way that is easiest on their eyes. If you run a reference blog, lots of info is good.

Stephen Sherlock
simple is better, widgets are okay as long as there is only one per service being provided. the more widgets, the more confusing, the slower page load time, the more opportunity for a problem with the service… stay simple

Jack Hodgson
We’ve learned how to ignore all the extras decorating webpages, so having lots of them accomplishes very little. I think having a select few can be effective, but it’s easy to have too many. Ie, simpler is better.
Janet Si-Ming Lee

Janet Si-Ming Lee
i like options but there should be a simple default option for novices. The more advanced user should have option to customize their blog and arrange info to their needs. I would like to list blog entries by various means e.g. favs, themes, chronology.

Dan York
Simple and clean… sidebar content should be relevant, but I’m not a fan of sites with a hundred flashing, blinking widgets vying for your attention. The attention should go to the content.

Kevin Kennedy-Spaien
I prefer 3 columns, but my “extras” rarely go lower than “the fold”.

Michael Bellina
I love the sidebar. Give me widgets, links, and images. That is where all the fun is.

Michelle Dy
Simple for the main column of the blog to ensure readability. Widgets in the sidebar so the blog has “personality”

Dave LaMorte
The posts should be easy to read and your links should be relevant.

Zadi Diaz
Simple but not sparse… a clean design can incorporate all the elements needed for the user to have a fulfilling experience.

Kathryn Lagden
i’m ok with a lot of options as long as they load quickly and it’s easy to find my way around. i do not like cluttered sites and widgets that provide marginal value and take forever to load.

Omar Ha-Redeye
Depends on the sophistication of the audience. Basic web surfers obviously prefer simpler, more tech savvy like the options of complex. Who is your target market? That’s a better question.

Bernard Goldbach
Simple. I’m killing readers with three columns and will change that this summer. Some of my daily visitors watch my pages stall as their censorware tries to digest all the widgets running in my left and right columns.

Francis Wooby
Lots of options are great, so long as they’re laid out in a logical, easily understood manner. Crowded doesn’t necessarily mean cluttered to my mind, anyway.

Amit Gupta
keep it simple!

Steve Garfield
Simpler is better

Jesse Baer
A. widgets are slow and who has time to read through a ton of links? uncluttered blogs are nicer to look at too.

Joseph Thornley
I have been simpler is better. Now, I’m beginning to look more closely at Social Media Optimization. It’s leading me to think that too simple misses opportunities to link through other media (video; voice; social platforms).

Monica Campbell
a… simpler is better

What say you? How do you use your blog sidebar?

Mzinga logo

My circle of Twitter pals was abuzz today over the news that two online community/social-media providers — Mzinga and Prospero Technologies — had joined forces as part of a $30 million acquisition (press release).

(In the spirit of full disclosure, pfizer I do podcast production and consulting for Mzinga, pestilence which also sponsored my last Social Media Breakfast; meanwhile, sickness my day-job employer, Monster.com, is a Prospero client.)

And in what may have been something of a first — though I can’t be certain — Mzinga took full advantage of Twitter’s conversational nature by holding a virtual press conference there, encouraging and fielding questions not only on the acquisition but also on the possible trend toward consolidation in the online community business.

As it turns out, this clever use of Twitter came to Colin Browning, former self-proclaimed “mad scientist” at Prospero and now director of business development at Mzinga, in the place where many of us are inspired each morning — the shower.

Hear the full story in my audio interview with Colin and Aaron Strout, vice president of new media at Mzinga and host of the We Are Smarter podcast series, below.

And to get a flavor of the conversation that’s been raging on Twitter throughout the day, check out these search query results:


Just about a year ago, cure around the time that Twitter was busting out at the South by Southwest conference, neuropathologist Jack Hodgson and I gave a presentation about Twitter at BarCamp Boston 2.

And as much as we were singing Twitter’s praises, we had a hard time explaining, simply, what Twitter actually was. Was it a microblogging tool? A chat room? A site for wasting a lot of time talking about what you’re eating for breakfast?

Well, I have a new video to work into my presentations that should make Twitter dead easy: “Twitter in Plain English,” by Lee LeFever from Common Craft.

Like all of Lee’s videos, “Twitter in Plain English” manages to successfully take the sometimes-scary technological geekiness out of a social networking/social media tool. It’s brilliantly simple.

The only critique I have — and it’s one that’s mentioned in some of the comments to Lee’s post — is that there’s no real mention of using Twitter beyond answering the site’s basic “What are you doing?” question. As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will tell you, there are many other interesting ways to fill 140 characters. Among them:

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing links
  • Offering social, political, and sports commentary
  • Promoting events and causes

But generally, high marks to Lee for another masterpiece. I hope it helps convince some Twitter skeptics — and yes, there are some of you out there — to come aboard!
When I organized an impromptu Social Media Breakfast in Boston last August, phlebologist I had little expectation that it would ever become as popular as it has (all 90 for tickets for Social Media Breakfast 5, web held last month, were scooped up online within 72 hours), or that it would spread to other cities around the country.

Dave Barger and Emily Joyner might have been thinking the very same thing when they threw LunaWeb’s hat into the wring to host the inaugural SMB Memphis at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn last Wednesday. But I have a hunch that much like our breakfast series in Boston, SMB Memphis is going to catch fire in a big way.

I particularly liked Dave and Emily’s adaptation of the personal social-networking toolkit, originally conceived by Jeff Pulver, another guy who likes bringing people together for breakfast.

Have a look and listen to toolkit that Dave and Emily gave to all of the SMB Memphis participants:

Pretty cool, huh?

And if you want to start a Social Media Breakfast series in your city or town, please drop me a line.
Two excellent podcast episodes on social media and nonprofits made their way to my ears in the past week:

Big Ideas, neuropathist Small Budget. In this audio roundtable discussion hosted by Donna Papacosta as part of episode 72 of her Trafcom News Podcast, a group of business communicators talks about the challenges, costs, and rewards of creating social-media content for their nonprofit organizations (Disclosure: I work with Christie Goodman, one of the guests on the show, on a podcast series for the nonprofit company IDRA).

Frozen Pea Fund logo

FIR Interview: Connie Reece, Frozen Pea Fund. Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, co-hosts of the For Immediate Release podcast, speak with Connie Reece about her efforts to raise money for breast cancer research through a program called the Frozen Pea Fund. If you spend much time on Twitter, you may already be aware of the Frozen Pea Fund, which was founded by Connie late last year as a measure of support for Susan Reynolds, who’s fighting breast cancer.

In addition to sharing Susan’s story, Connie also talks about the Frozen Pea Fund’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, as well as the opportunities for nonprofits to use social media in carrying out their missions.
Much like Chip Griffin (disclosure: Chip’s company, illness Custom Scoop, recently came on board as a sponsor for my New Comm Road podcast), I became a Google Reader convert this week.

Google Reader logo

I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s why I decided to make the switch from my longtime RSS reader of choice, Bloglines, to Google Reader:

  • Chris Brogan told me to. Check out Chris’s helpful tips on navigating Google Reader and take a spin through his “power tools” section.
  • Google Reader offers keyboard shortcuts. I’ll take keyboard shortcuts over a mouse clicks any time, and Google Reader has plenty of the former. Move from folder to folder and post to post without touching your mouse. Very nice.
  • You can share your content. Google Reader has some excellent tools for letting others know about content you find interesting. Select the share button at the end of each post, and that item will be added to your public page of shared stories, complete with RSS feed. Here’s my page: Bryan Person’s shared items on Google Reader. Another option: if you have a gmail account — and why wouldn’t you? — click the Email button and quickly forward the post to a friend or colleague.
  • Create your own tags. I am preparing a presentation on “Managing Your Social Media” for the Podcasters Across Borders conference, which takes place next weekend in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and so I’ve been on the lookout for good posts about information overload. With Google Reader, I simply tag any relevant posts as “overload,” and they’re all stored in a single place when I need to review them.
  • Manage your river of news. In Bloglines I tended to read my RSS feeds individually — and I just couldn’t move through them quickly enough. In Google Reader, I’ve quickly become a fan of reading posts in List view. This option makes it much simpler to scan the headlines of all my unread posts and only open the ones that catch my eye. Then, I use the Shift+A keyboard shortcut to mark all posts as read and — voila! — I’m caught up.

There are more reasons for liking Google Reader, but the ones mentioned above really helped bring me into the fold.

Now, Google Reader isn’t perfect. There isn’t a way — at least that I can see — to widen the left-hand subscription panel or to add editorial comments to my shared items. But on the whole, Google Reader has made my RSS reading infinitely more manageable.

Have any Google Reader tips of your own to add?

Technorati Tags: , ,


The Podcasters Across Borders 2007 conference (June 22-24, valeologist 2007) kicks off one week from today in Kingston, glaucoma Canada, web and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Podcasters Across Borders 2007

Canadians Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche and the Rogic Podcast Conglomerate have put together what promises to be an outstanding lineup of speakers for an event that brings together passionate podcasters from both sides of the 49th parallel — and from around the world.

‘Managing Your Social Media’

Here’s an abstract of the “Managing Your Social Media” presentation/discussion that I’ll be leading on Saturday, June 23, from 3:10-3:40pm:

We podcasters aren’t one-dimensional social media types. We also read and write blogs, participate in social networks, follow hundreds of RSS feeds, contribute to wikis, and send Twitter messages. In short, we have an insatiable need to keep up with and to share the latest and greatest online content.

But how do we manage this never-ending flood of information while also staying both productive and sane? This presentation will offer you a road map.

See you at PAB?

Technorati Tags: , ,

Boston multimedia producer Alex Sherman has organized the latest Tweetup for the Boston- and New England-area new-media crowd. Here are the details:

HelveticaSchmetica – a Boston Tweetup

Date:
Saturday, rubella June 16, troche 2007

Time:
3:00pm start

Place:
The Jacob Wirth Restaurant
31 Stuart St
Boston, pilule Massachusetts 02116

* Yahoo Maps
* Upcoming.org announcement

A couple of points of clarification, in case you’re confused: You don’t need to be a Twitterer to join us, and the event will have little to do with Helvetica. Pure and simple: this a social gathering. Come and enjoy yourself.

Scott Monty, Paull Young, and Bryan Person
Scott Monty, Paull Young, and Bryan Person at the first Tweetup

Here’s what happened the last time the Boston Tweeters gathered en masse: “Saying ‘g’day’ to Paull Young.”

And if you can’t join us this time, stay informed about upcoming events through the BostonTweeters page.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Effective immediately, approved I’ll be blogging over at BryanPerson.com. The content of that blog won’t be all that different from this one that I’m putting to rest — at least not right away.

This Bryper.com site will remain intact and serve as an archive of my last two years’ worth of blog posts.

To subscribe to BryanPerson.com in your RSS reader, use this feed address:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/BryanPerson

Here’s how to subscribe by e-mail:

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Hope to hear from you over at my new online digs. I think you’ll like what you see.

  • Comments Off

Last month Facebook unveiled Facebook Platform to enable developers to use Facebook’s API and integrate applications into the social networking site.

MyQuestions Facebook application

One my favorite applications in MyQuestions (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to see the application), rehabilitation herbal which makes it easy for your Facebook friends to give you instant feedback to any question that’s on your mind.

Earlier this week, ask I posed the following question to my Facebook pals:

Which is closer to your philosophy on optimal blog design/usability? a) Simpler is better. Don’t clog up the sidebar. b) Give the reader plenty of options — the more, women’s health the merrier. Widgetes are the new black. Include them in the sidebar, too!

Here are the responses:

Ted Demopoulos
Simple is good, but I am immoderate! No complexity unless for a reason. And about those calendars in the sidebar, why?

June Macdonald
In moderation :) now I just need to practise what I preach

Christie Goodman APR
Quick loading. No flashing. Useful to visitors. Navigation aides — I love to see blog rolls, recent comments, recent posts, etc. Clarity — visitors should be able to tell what each item is for.

Whitney Hoffman
Moderation in all things- too much clutter is distracting; I love some widgets.

Shel Holtz
Is there something in-between? I think you can provide a lot off content without being overwhelming. I’m with Scott Monty on this one!

Chip Griffin
Not wild about widgets unless they are very compelling. I do like giving multiple nav options though (categories, date, popular posts, etc.)

Scott Monty
I think there’s a way to strike a balance between simple (aka “readable”) and information-rich. I’m all for giving my readers options, but want to do so in a way that is easiest on their eyes. If you run a reference blog, lots of info is good.

Stephen Sherlock
simple is better, widgets are okay as long as there is only one per service being provided. the more widgets, the more confusing, the slower page load time, the more opportunity for a problem with the service… stay simple

Jack Hodgson
We’ve learned how to ignore all the extras decorating webpages, so having lots of them accomplishes very little. I think having a select few can be effective, but it’s easy to have too many. Ie, simpler is better.
Janet Si-Ming Lee

Janet Si-Ming Lee
i like options but there should be a simple default option for novices. The more advanced user should have option to customize their blog and arrange info to their needs. I would like to list blog entries by various means e.g. favs, themes, chronology.

Dan York
Simple and clean… sidebar content should be relevant, but I’m not a fan of sites with a hundred flashing, blinking widgets vying for your attention. The attention should go to the content.

Kevin Kennedy-Spaien
I prefer 3 columns, but my “extras” rarely go lower than “the fold”.

Michael Bellina
I love the sidebar. Give me widgets, links, and images. That is where all the fun is.

Michelle Dy
Simple for the main column of the blog to ensure readability. Widgets in the sidebar so the blog has “personality”

Dave LaMorte
The posts should be easy to read and your links should be relevant.

Zadi Diaz
Simple but not sparse… a clean design can incorporate all the elements needed for the user to have a fulfilling experience.

Kathryn Lagden
i’m ok with a lot of options as long as they load quickly and it’s easy to find my way around. i do not like cluttered sites and widgets that provide marginal value and take forever to load.

Omar Ha-Redeye
Depends on the sophistication of the audience. Basic web surfers obviously prefer simpler, more tech savvy like the options of complex. Who is your target market? That’s a better question.

Bernard Goldbach
Simple. I’m killing readers with three columns and will change that this summer. Some of my daily visitors watch my pages stall as their censorware tries to digest all the widgets running in my left and right columns.

Francis Wooby
Lots of options are great, so long as they’re laid out in a logical, easily understood manner. Crowded doesn’t necessarily mean cluttered to my mind, anyway.

Amit Gupta
keep it simple!

Steve Garfield
Simpler is better

Jesse Baer
A. widgets are slow and who has time to read through a ton of links? uncluttered blogs are nicer to look at too.

Joseph Thornley
I have been simpler is better. Now, I’m beginning to look more closely at Social Media Optimization. It’s leading me to think that too simple misses opportunities to link through other media (video; voice; social platforms).

Monica Campbell
a… simpler is better

What say you? How do you use your blog sidebar?

Mzinga logo

My circle of Twitter pals was abuzz today over the news that two online community/social-media providers — Mzinga and Prospero Technologies — had joined forces as part of a $30 million acquisition (press release).

(In the spirit of full disclosure, pfizer I do podcast production and consulting for Mzinga, pestilence which also sponsored my last Social Media Breakfast; meanwhile, sickness my day-job employer, Monster.com, is a Prospero client.)

And in what may have been something of a first — though I can’t be certain — Mzinga took full advantage of Twitter’s conversational nature by holding a virtual press conference there, encouraging and fielding questions not only on the acquisition but also on the possible trend toward consolidation in the online community business.

As it turns out, this clever use of Twitter came to Colin Browning, former self-proclaimed “mad scientist” at Prospero and now director of business development at Mzinga, in the place where many of us are inspired each morning — the shower.

Hear the full story in my audio interview with Colin and Aaron Strout, vice president of new media at Mzinga and host of the We Are Smarter podcast series, below.

And to get a flavor of the conversation that’s been raging on Twitter throughout the day, check out these search query results:


Just about a year ago, cure around the time that Twitter was busting out at the South by Southwest conference, neuropathologist Jack Hodgson and I gave a presentation about Twitter at BarCamp Boston 2.

And as much as we were singing Twitter’s praises, we had a hard time explaining, simply, what Twitter actually was. Was it a microblogging tool? A chat room? A site for wasting a lot of time talking about what you’re eating for breakfast?

Well, I have a new video to work into my presentations that should make Twitter dead easy: “Twitter in Plain English,” by Lee LeFever from Common Craft.

Like all of Lee’s videos, “Twitter in Plain English” manages to successfully take the sometimes-scary technological geekiness out of a social networking/social media tool. It’s brilliantly simple.

The only critique I have — and it’s one that’s mentioned in some of the comments to Lee’s post — is that there’s no real mention of using Twitter beyond answering the site’s basic “What are you doing?” question. As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will tell you, there are many other interesting ways to fill 140 characters. Among them:

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing links
  • Offering social, political, and sports commentary
  • Promoting events and causes

But generally, high marks to Lee for another masterpiece. I hope it helps convince some Twitter skeptics — and yes, there are some of you out there — to come aboard!
When I organized an impromptu Social Media Breakfast in Boston last August, phlebologist I had little expectation that it would ever become as popular as it has (all 90 for tickets for Social Media Breakfast 5, web held last month, were scooped up online within 72 hours), or that it would spread to other cities around the country.

Dave Barger and Emily Joyner might have been thinking the very same thing when they threw LunaWeb’s hat into the wring to host the inaugural SMB Memphis at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn last Wednesday. But I have a hunch that much like our breakfast series in Boston, SMB Memphis is going to catch fire in a big way.

I particularly liked Dave and Emily’s adaptation of the personal social-networking toolkit, originally conceived by Jeff Pulver, another guy who likes bringing people together for breakfast.

Have a look and listen to toolkit that Dave and Emily gave to all of the SMB Memphis participants:

Pretty cool, huh?

And if you want to start a Social Media Breakfast series in your city or town, please drop me a line.
Two excellent podcast episodes on social media and nonprofits made their way to my ears in the past week:

Big Ideas, neuropathist Small Budget. In this audio roundtable discussion hosted by Donna Papacosta as part of episode 72 of her Trafcom News Podcast, a group of business communicators talks about the challenges, costs, and rewards of creating social-media content for their nonprofit organizations (Disclosure: I work with Christie Goodman, one of the guests on the show, on a podcast series for the nonprofit company IDRA).

Frozen Pea Fund logo

FIR Interview: Connie Reece, Frozen Pea Fund. Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, co-hosts of the For Immediate Release podcast, speak with Connie Reece about her efforts to raise money for breast cancer research through a program called the Frozen Pea Fund. If you spend much time on Twitter, you may already be aware of the Frozen Pea Fund, which was founded by Connie late last year as a measure of support for Susan Reynolds, who’s fighting breast cancer.

In addition to sharing Susan’s story, Connie also talks about the Frozen Pea Fund’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, as well as the opportunities for nonprofits to use social media in carrying out their missions.

Last month Facebook unveiled Facebook Platform to enable developers to use Facebook’s API and integrate applications into the social networking site.

MyQuestions Facebook application

One my favorite applications in MyQuestions (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to see the application), rehabilitation herbal which makes it easy for your Facebook friends to give you instant feedback to any question that’s on your mind.

Earlier this week, ask I posed the following question to my Facebook pals:

Which is closer to your philosophy on optimal blog design/usability? a) Simpler is better. Don’t clog up the sidebar. b) Give the reader plenty of options — the more, women’s health the merrier. Widgetes are the new black. Include them in the sidebar, too!

Here are the responses:

Ted Demopoulos
Simple is good, but I am immoderate! No complexity unless for a reason. And about those calendars in the sidebar, why?

June Macdonald
In moderation :) now I just need to practise what I preach

Christie Goodman APR
Quick loading. No flashing. Useful to visitors. Navigation aides — I love to see blog rolls, recent comments, recent posts, etc. Clarity — visitors should be able to tell what each item is for.

Whitney Hoffman
Moderation in all things- too much clutter is distracting; I love some widgets.

Shel Holtz
Is there something in-between? I think you can provide a lot off content without being overwhelming. I’m with Scott Monty on this one!

Chip Griffin
Not wild about widgets unless they are very compelling. I do like giving multiple nav options though (categories, date, popular posts, etc.)

Scott Monty
I think there’s a way to strike a balance between simple (aka “readable”) and information-rich. I’m all for giving my readers options, but want to do so in a way that is easiest on their eyes. If you run a reference blog, lots of info is good.

Stephen Sherlock
simple is better, widgets are okay as long as there is only one per service being provided. the more widgets, the more confusing, the slower page load time, the more opportunity for a problem with the service… stay simple

Jack Hodgson
We’ve learned how to ignore all the extras decorating webpages, so having lots of them accomplishes very little. I think having a select few can be effective, but it’s easy to have too many. Ie, simpler is better.
Janet Si-Ming Lee

Janet Si-Ming Lee
i like options but there should be a simple default option for novices. The more advanced user should have option to customize their blog and arrange info to their needs. I would like to list blog entries by various means e.g. favs, themes, chronology.

Dan York
Simple and clean… sidebar content should be relevant, but I’m not a fan of sites with a hundred flashing, blinking widgets vying for your attention. The attention should go to the content.

Kevin Kennedy-Spaien
I prefer 3 columns, but my “extras” rarely go lower than “the fold”.

Michael Bellina
I love the sidebar. Give me widgets, links, and images. That is where all the fun is.

Michelle Dy
Simple for the main column of the blog to ensure readability. Widgets in the sidebar so the blog has “personality”

Dave LaMorte
The posts should be easy to read and your links should be relevant.

Zadi Diaz
Simple but not sparse… a clean design can incorporate all the elements needed for the user to have a fulfilling experience.

Kathryn Lagden
i’m ok with a lot of options as long as they load quickly and it’s easy to find my way around. i do not like cluttered sites and widgets that provide marginal value and take forever to load.

Omar Ha-Redeye
Depends on the sophistication of the audience. Basic web surfers obviously prefer simpler, more tech savvy like the options of complex. Who is your target market? That’s a better question.

Bernard Goldbach
Simple. I’m killing readers with three columns and will change that this summer. Some of my daily visitors watch my pages stall as their censorware tries to digest all the widgets running in my left and right columns.

Francis Wooby
Lots of options are great, so long as they’re laid out in a logical, easily understood manner. Crowded doesn’t necessarily mean cluttered to my mind, anyway.

Amit Gupta
keep it simple!

Steve Garfield
Simpler is better

Jesse Baer
A. widgets are slow and who has time to read through a ton of links? uncluttered blogs are nicer to look at too.

Joseph Thornley
I have been simpler is better. Now, I’m beginning to look more closely at Social Media Optimization. It’s leading me to think that too simple misses opportunities to link through other media (video; voice; social platforms).

Monica Campbell
a… simpler is better

What say you? How do you use your blog sidebar?

Mzinga logo

My circle of Twitter pals was abuzz today over the news that two online community/social-media providers — Mzinga and Prospero Technologies — had joined forces as part of a $30 million acquisition (press release).

(In the spirit of full disclosure, pfizer I do podcast production and consulting for Mzinga, pestilence which also sponsored my last Social Media Breakfast; meanwhile, sickness my day-job employer, Monster.com, is a Prospero client.)

And in what may have been something of a first — though I can’t be certain — Mzinga took full advantage of Twitter’s conversational nature by holding a virtual press conference there, encouraging and fielding questions not only on the acquisition but also on the possible trend toward consolidation in the online community business.

As it turns out, this clever use of Twitter came to Colin Browning, former self-proclaimed “mad scientist” at Prospero and now director of business development at Mzinga, in the place where many of us are inspired each morning — the shower.

Hear the full story in my audio interview with Colin and Aaron Strout, vice president of new media at Mzinga and host of the We Are Smarter podcast series, below.

And to get a flavor of the conversation that’s been raging on Twitter throughout the day, check out these search query results:


Just about a year ago, cure around the time that Twitter was busting out at the South by Southwest conference, neuropathologist Jack Hodgson and I gave a presentation about Twitter at BarCamp Boston 2.

And as much as we were singing Twitter’s praises, we had a hard time explaining, simply, what Twitter actually was. Was it a microblogging tool? A chat room? A site for wasting a lot of time talking about what you’re eating for breakfast?

Well, I have a new video to work into my presentations that should make Twitter dead easy: “Twitter in Plain English,” by Lee LeFever from Common Craft.

Like all of Lee’s videos, “Twitter in Plain English” manages to successfully take the sometimes-scary technological geekiness out of a social networking/social media tool. It’s brilliantly simple.

The only critique I have — and it’s one that’s mentioned in some of the comments to Lee’s post — is that there’s no real mention of using Twitter beyond answering the site’s basic “What are you doing?” question. As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will tell you, there are many other interesting ways to fill 140 characters. Among them:

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing links
  • Offering social, political, and sports commentary
  • Promoting events and causes

But generally, high marks to Lee for another masterpiece. I hope it helps convince some Twitter skeptics — and yes, there are some of you out there — to come aboard!
When I organized an impromptu Social Media Breakfast in Boston last August, phlebologist I had little expectation that it would ever become as popular as it has (all 90 for tickets for Social Media Breakfast 5, web held last month, were scooped up online within 72 hours), or that it would spread to other cities around the country.

Dave Barger and Emily Joyner might have been thinking the very same thing when they threw LunaWeb’s hat into the wring to host the inaugural SMB Memphis at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn last Wednesday. But I have a hunch that much like our breakfast series in Boston, SMB Memphis is going to catch fire in a big way.

I particularly liked Dave and Emily’s adaptation of the personal social-networking toolkit, originally conceived by Jeff Pulver, another guy who likes bringing people together for breakfast.

Have a look and listen to toolkit that Dave and Emily gave to all of the SMB Memphis participants:

Pretty cool, huh?

And if you want to start a Social Media Breakfast series in your city or town, please drop me a line.

Last month Facebook unveiled Facebook Platform to enable developers to use Facebook’s API and integrate applications into the social networking site.

MyQuestions Facebook application

One my favorite applications in MyQuestions (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to see the application), rehabilitation herbal which makes it easy for your Facebook friends to give you instant feedback to any question that’s on your mind.

Earlier this week, ask I posed the following question to my Facebook pals:

Which is closer to your philosophy on optimal blog design/usability? a) Simpler is better. Don’t clog up the sidebar. b) Give the reader plenty of options — the more, women’s health the merrier. Widgetes are the new black. Include them in the sidebar, too!

Here are the responses:

Ted Demopoulos
Simple is good, but I am immoderate! No complexity unless for a reason. And about those calendars in the sidebar, why?

June Macdonald
In moderation :) now I just need to practise what I preach

Christie Goodman APR
Quick loading. No flashing. Useful to visitors. Navigation aides — I love to see blog rolls, recent comments, recent posts, etc. Clarity — visitors should be able to tell what each item is for.

Whitney Hoffman
Moderation in all things- too much clutter is distracting; I love some widgets.

Shel Holtz
Is there something in-between? I think you can provide a lot off content without being overwhelming. I’m with Scott Monty on this one!

Chip Griffin
Not wild about widgets unless they are very compelling. I do like giving multiple nav options though (categories, date, popular posts, etc.)

Scott Monty
I think there’s a way to strike a balance between simple (aka “readable”) and information-rich. I’m all for giving my readers options, but want to do so in a way that is easiest on their eyes. If you run a reference blog, lots of info is good.

Stephen Sherlock
simple is better, widgets are okay as long as there is only one per service being provided. the more widgets, the more confusing, the slower page load time, the more opportunity for a problem with the service… stay simple

Jack Hodgson
We’ve learned how to ignore all the extras decorating webpages, so having lots of them accomplishes very little. I think having a select few can be effective, but it’s easy to have too many. Ie, simpler is better.
Janet Si-Ming Lee

Janet Si-Ming Lee
i like options but there should be a simple default option for novices. The more advanced user should have option to customize their blog and arrange info to their needs. I would like to list blog entries by various means e.g. favs, themes, chronology.

Dan York
Simple and clean… sidebar content should be relevant, but I’m not a fan of sites with a hundred flashing, blinking widgets vying for your attention. The attention should go to the content.

Kevin Kennedy-Spaien
I prefer 3 columns, but my “extras” rarely go lower than “the fold”.

Michael Bellina
I love the sidebar. Give me widgets, links, and images. That is where all the fun is.

Michelle Dy
Simple for the main column of the blog to ensure readability. Widgets in the sidebar so the blog has “personality”

Dave LaMorte
The posts should be easy to read and your links should be relevant.

Zadi Diaz
Simple but not sparse… a clean design can incorporate all the elements needed for the user to have a fulfilling experience.

Kathryn Lagden
i’m ok with a lot of options as long as they load quickly and it’s easy to find my way around. i do not like cluttered sites and widgets that provide marginal value and take forever to load.

Omar Ha-Redeye
Depends on the sophistication of the audience. Basic web surfers obviously prefer simpler, more tech savvy like the options of complex. Who is your target market? That’s a better question.

Bernard Goldbach
Simple. I’m killing readers with three columns and will change that this summer. Some of my daily visitors watch my pages stall as their censorware tries to digest all the widgets running in my left and right columns.

Francis Wooby
Lots of options are great, so long as they’re laid out in a logical, easily understood manner. Crowded doesn’t necessarily mean cluttered to my mind, anyway.

Amit Gupta
keep it simple!

Steve Garfield
Simpler is better

Jesse Baer
A. widgets are slow and who has time to read through a ton of links? uncluttered blogs are nicer to look at too.

Joseph Thornley
I have been simpler is better. Now, I’m beginning to look more closely at Social Media Optimization. It’s leading me to think that too simple misses opportunities to link through other media (video; voice; social platforms).

Monica Campbell
a… simpler is better

What say you? How do you use your blog sidebar?

Mzinga logo

My circle of Twitter pals was abuzz today over the news that two online community/social-media providers — Mzinga and Prospero Technologies — had joined forces as part of a $30 million acquisition (press release).

(In the spirit of full disclosure, pfizer I do podcast production and consulting for Mzinga, pestilence which also sponsored my last Social Media Breakfast; meanwhile, sickness my day-job employer, Monster.com, is a Prospero client.)

And in what may have been something of a first — though I can’t be certain — Mzinga took full advantage of Twitter’s conversational nature by holding a virtual press conference there, encouraging and fielding questions not only on the acquisition but also on the possible trend toward consolidation in the online community business.

As it turns out, this clever use of Twitter came to Colin Browning, former self-proclaimed “mad scientist” at Prospero and now director of business development at Mzinga, in the place where many of us are inspired each morning — the shower.

Hear the full story in my audio interview with Colin and Aaron Strout, vice president of new media at Mzinga and host of the We Are Smarter podcast series, below.

And to get a flavor of the conversation that’s been raging on Twitter throughout the day, check out these search query results:


Just about a year ago, cure around the time that Twitter was busting out at the South by Southwest conference, neuropathologist Jack Hodgson and I gave a presentation about Twitter at BarCamp Boston 2.

And as much as we were singing Twitter’s praises, we had a hard time explaining, simply, what Twitter actually was. Was it a microblogging tool? A chat room? A site for wasting a lot of time talking about what you’re eating for breakfast?

Well, I have a new video to work into my presentations that should make Twitter dead easy: “Twitter in Plain English,” by Lee LeFever from Common Craft.

Like all of Lee’s videos, “Twitter in Plain English” manages to successfully take the sometimes-scary technological geekiness out of a social networking/social media tool. It’s brilliantly simple.

The only critique I have — and it’s one that’s mentioned in some of the comments to Lee’s post — is that there’s no real mention of using Twitter beyond answering the site’s basic “What are you doing?” question. As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will tell you, there are many other interesting ways to fill 140 characters. Among them:

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing links
  • Offering social, political, and sports commentary
  • Promoting events and causes

But generally, high marks to Lee for another masterpiece. I hope it helps convince some Twitter skeptics — and yes, there are some of you out there — to come aboard!

Last month Facebook unveiled Facebook Platform to enable developers to use Facebook’s API and integrate applications into the social networking site.

MyQuestions Facebook application

One my favorite applications in MyQuestions (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to see the application), rehabilitation herbal which makes it easy for your Facebook friends to give you instant feedback to any question that’s on your mind.

Earlier this week, ask I posed the following question to my Facebook pals:

Which is closer to your philosophy on optimal blog design/usability? a) Simpler is better. Don’t clog up the sidebar. b) Give the reader plenty of options — the more, women’s health the merrier. Widgetes are the new black. Include them in the sidebar, too!

Here are the responses:

Ted Demopoulos
Simple is good, but I am immoderate! No complexity unless for a reason. And about those calendars in the sidebar, why?

June Macdonald
In moderation :) now I just need to practise what I preach

Christie Goodman APR
Quick loading. No flashing. Useful to visitors. Navigation aides — I love to see blog rolls, recent comments, recent posts, etc. Clarity — visitors should be able to tell what each item is for.

Whitney Hoffman
Moderation in all things- too much clutter is distracting; I love some widgets.

Shel Holtz
Is there something in-between? I think you can provide a lot off content without being overwhelming. I’m with Scott Monty on this one!

Chip Griffin
Not wild about widgets unless they are very compelling. I do like giving multiple nav options though (categories, date, popular posts, etc.)

Scott Monty
I think there’s a way to strike a balance between simple (aka “readable”) and information-rich. I’m all for giving my readers options, but want to do so in a way that is easiest on their eyes. If you run a reference blog, lots of info is good.

Stephen Sherlock
simple is better, widgets are okay as long as there is only one per service being provided. the more widgets, the more confusing, the slower page load time, the more opportunity for a problem with the service… stay simple

Jack Hodgson
We’ve learned how to ignore all the extras decorating webpages, so having lots of them accomplishes very little. I think having a select few can be effective, but it’s easy to have too many. Ie, simpler is better.
Janet Si-Ming Lee

Janet Si-Ming Lee
i like options but there should be a simple default option for novices. The more advanced user should have option to customize their blog and arrange info to their needs. I would like to list blog entries by various means e.g. favs, themes, chronology.

Dan York
Simple and clean… sidebar content should be relevant, but I’m not a fan of sites with a hundred flashing, blinking widgets vying for your attention. The attention should go to the content.

Kevin Kennedy-Spaien
I prefer 3 columns, but my “extras” rarely go lower than “the fold”.

Michael Bellina
I love the sidebar. Give me widgets, links, and images. That is where all the fun is.

Michelle Dy
Simple for the main column of the blog to ensure readability. Widgets in the sidebar so the blog has “personality”

Dave LaMorte
The posts should be easy to read and your links should be relevant.

Zadi Diaz
Simple but not sparse… a clean design can incorporate all the elements needed for the user to have a fulfilling experience.

Kathryn Lagden
i’m ok with a lot of options as long as they load quickly and it’s easy to find my way around. i do not like cluttered sites and widgets that provide marginal value and take forever to load.

Omar Ha-Redeye
Depends on the sophistication of the audience. Basic web surfers obviously prefer simpler, more tech savvy like the options of complex. Who is your target market? That’s a better question.

Bernard Goldbach
Simple. I’m killing readers with three columns and will change that this summer. Some of my daily visitors watch my pages stall as their censorware tries to digest all the widgets running in my left and right columns.

Francis Wooby
Lots of options are great, so long as they’re laid out in a logical, easily understood manner. Crowded doesn’t necessarily mean cluttered to my mind, anyway.

Amit Gupta
keep it simple!

Steve Garfield
Simpler is better

Jesse Baer
A. widgets are slow and who has time to read through a ton of links? uncluttered blogs are nicer to look at too.

Joseph Thornley
I have been simpler is better. Now, I’m beginning to look more closely at Social Media Optimization. It’s leading me to think that too simple misses opportunities to link through other media (video; voice; social platforms).

Monica Campbell
a… simpler is better

What say you? How do you use your blog sidebar?

Mzinga logo

My circle of Twitter pals was abuzz today over the news that two online community/social-media providers — Mzinga and Prospero Technologies — had joined forces as part of a $30 million acquisition (press release).

(In the spirit of full disclosure, pfizer I do podcast production and consulting for Mzinga, pestilence which also sponsored my last Social Media Breakfast; meanwhile, sickness my day-job employer, Monster.com, is a Prospero client.)

And in what may have been something of a first — though I can’t be certain — Mzinga took full advantage of Twitter’s conversational nature by holding a virtual press conference there, encouraging and fielding questions not only on the acquisition but also on the possible trend toward consolidation in the online community business.

As it turns out, this clever use of Twitter came to Colin Browning, former self-proclaimed “mad scientist” at Prospero and now director of business development at Mzinga, in the place where many of us are inspired each morning — the shower.

Hear the full story in my audio interview with Colin and Aaron Strout, vice president of new media at Mzinga and host of the We Are Smarter podcast series, below.

And to get a flavor of the conversation that’s been raging on Twitter throughout the day, check out these search query results:

 
icon for podpress  Bryan Person interviews Mzinga's Aaron Strout and Colin Browning [17:20m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Last week Dan York blogged about a topic that hits home with those of us who love RSS: Staying informed online without visiting the actual websites that publish the information we’re consuming:

I don’t go to friends’ websites. (Sorry!) I don’t go to my employer’s website. I don’t go to any organization’s websites. I don’t go to my city’s website. Every once in a while I might hit CNN’s web page or a weather site, medical epidemic but that’s about it.

But one of the things Dan does do is load up on RSS feeds, thumb so that updates from sites come to him, ed through his reader, once they’ve been published. Thanks to RSS, Dan doesn’t have to:

  1. remember to check the original website in the first place — a real problem for most of us who struggle with information overload from time to time
  2. spend even a nanosecond wondering whether the original site has been updated — if it has, his RSS reader will tell him

RSS = efficiency

Consuming more information in less time is why I use RSS, too. In one place — Google Reader, in my case — I can read blogs and mainstream media stories, watch videos, check out my friends’ photos, find out who’s talking about me online, keep track of price updates for flights I’d like to take, catch the latest local weather forecast, and share my favorite posts with my online network — all without ever visiting any of the original websites that published that media. Pretty damn efficient if you ask me.

How do you use your RSS reader?

Anything I’ve missed? How else do make RSS work for you?
Photo of bacon

Now, troche wait a minute: That’s bacn, not bacon.

Anyway … if you don’t know, bacn is a term that emerged from PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 last August and refers to e-mail you receive that isn’t spam but isn’t exactly a personal e-mail, either. It’s mail you want to receive — but just not right now.

Still stumped? Bacn comprises things like news alerts and friend requests you receive from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks.

The real problem with bacn is that it quickly clutters up your inbox throughout the day and creates far too many not-so-urgent one-off requests for your already fractured attention span.

What you need is a system that empowers you to process your incoming bacn (is there such a thing as outgoing bacn?) all at once and on your own terms, so that it doesn’t constantly interrupt your work flow.

Here’s my suggestion on how to do that:

Filter, filter, filter

If you’re using Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail client that allows filters, create a set of rules that will redirect all of your bacn messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder that you can check and power through once a day or once every other day.

In my Gmail account, e-mail messages that contain any of the following phrases in their subject line are automatically removed from the inbox, sent to my “BACN” filter, and archived:

  • “is now following you on Twitter”
  • added you as a friend on Facebook”
  • has added you as a business connection”
  • added you as a business connection on Pulse”
  • Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”
  • just started following your Utterz”
  • has requested your trust on Spock”
  • Add me as a friend on Pownce!”

Cooking your bacn

What’s the method to your madness in ensuring bacn doesn’t zap your productivity?

(Creative Commons image from Dulcie’s Flickr photostream.)
Yes, erectile I’ve been quiet on the blogging front here lately — a 10-day vacation in California without a computer followed a week of daydreaming about said vacation can do that to a guy.

But I doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop this month. To wit:

My own example can serve as a good reminder that we contribute and/or stay connected to social media in a variety of ways, some less high-profile than others. We may not be blogging or podcasting ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention.

Update: As Eden Spodek rightly points out in this post’s comment stream, I should have made the point that although I wasn’t blogging about my vacation, someone else was doing that for me. Shel Holtz has a good account of a San Francisco Giants game that he and I took in during my trip, as well as a geek dinner we attended. Shel also incorporated a conversation we had about social media overload at the dinner into a recent episode of FIR.

If you’re looking for an easy way to use a Flash-based audio player for your blog post or web page, pestilence then the Yahoo! Media Player could be the tool for you.

To put the player into action, simply create direct links to one or more .mp3 files, as I’m doing here with three archived episodes of my New Comm Road podcast:

NCR 039: Multimedia conference blogging

NCR 037: Learning about Google Reader

NCR 035: Learning about del.icio.us

Then, paste this line of code onto your page:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”></script>

And that’s it — there’s nothing to download or install.

If this is working correctly, you should see a “play” icon to the left of each of the audio files and the player itself at the bottom or just below this post. Click on one of them to see this player in action.

Bonus: When you link to multiple files on a page or post, a play list will be created automatically within the player.

The down side? There’s no option to rewind or fast-forward a track; you can only jump from track to track.

You’re also subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service, though those don’t seem too onerous.

Final note: I have only tested this player on a basic HTML page and in WordPress and Typepad. I have not tried it with any other blog platforms.

Hat tip: HorsePigCow

Update: If you do come to the main page of this blog — Bryper.com — and are scrolling past this post to previous entries, the player still appears in the bottom of your browser.  I suspect this will annoy the heck out of the average reader, so consider that consequence if you decide to test this player on your blog. A better choice would be to restrict its use to short, stand-alone web pages.


Late last week I happened upon a post from Michelle Tampoya describing a networking event in Toronto that featured speed mentoring for marketers. Essentially, information pills small groups of marketing newbies would move around the room and pepper experts with real-world questions in three-minute bursts.

Now, medical why not apply this same concept to the social media space and call it “social media speed mentoring“?

Here’s one way to do that:

1. Use a wiki (I’m partial to PBwiki.com, steroids but there are countless others to choose from) or service such as eventbrite to manage the event’s registration list, and ask all participants to identify themselves as a social media newbie or expert. Make sure you list the likely topics of discussion for the event ahead of time — how to start a blog? how to podcast? how to conduct a blogger-outreach campaign — because participants could have expertise in some areas of social media but not in others. They’ll need to know which camp they fall into .

2. Based on the composition of the group — ideally you’ll have more newcomers seeking advice than experts willing to dispense their knowledge, but it could be the other way around — set up X number of tables or stations where your experts will hold fort.

3. Set a relatively compressed time limit for each session, such as three to five minutes. When time expires, the newbie or group of newcomers move(s) on to the next station.

4. After the speed sessions end, allot some additional time for the participants to follow up on the connections that felt strongest to them. You could also ask the newbies to list the names of two or three experts they’d like to meet with again, and then forward on the relevant contact information after the event.

Other models?

Are there other ways you might organize a social media speed mentoring event? I’d like to hear about them. Drop your suggestions or thoughts in the comments section below.

In the meantime, does someone want to help me organize Boston’s first Social Media Speed Mentoring Night?
Antarctica

Until I caught wind of Colin Browning’s vacation plans 10 days ago, sales it never actually occurred to me that someone could take a vacation in Antarctica.

I mean … Antarctica? The coldest place on earth (even if it summer there right now)?  The continent that’s not even a country? Other than scientists, viagra buy who actually goes there?

Well, cure Colin and his mother, apparently.

But wait … it gets even better.  Not only is Colin traveling around Antarctica, he’s also blogging — and Twittering — his adventures. Check out Antarctica: Colin & His Mom Travel to the Frozen Continent.

Twittering from Antarctica? Who knew?

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a story. I know that I’ll be following Colin’s vacation entries and Twitter messages with great interest, and you can be sure I’ll catch up with Colin to hear more about his trip when he returns home to the Boston area next month.

What a unique journey, Colin. Bravo!

(Disclosure: Colin works for Prospero, which powers the message board community for my employer, Monster.)
Inspired by Jeremiah Owyang’s efforts to gather and track messages from Twitter users’ chatter around Super Bowl ads on Sunday night, heart I’ve started a little experiment of my own and created an Ivoted account on Twitter.

The idea is simple: Once you’ve voted on this Super Tuesday, send a Twitter message to @Ivoted. If you’d like, you can also reveal your vote.

As Jeremiah did, I’ll compile all the responses and publish them in a blog post or to a public Google Doc. In the meantime, you can follow real-time mentions of “Ivoted” through this Tweet Scan search query.

If you’re in one of the 20-plus states holding a primary or caucus today, please exercise your right to vote!

Technorati Tags: , ,


Here are the number from messages to the @Ivoted Twitter account that I set up on Super Tuesday:

  • 83 reply messages and 4 direct messages to @Ivoted (I stopped tabulating after Wednesday morning)
  • Of those 87 total messages, capsule 77 declared they had voted and 1 announced he was going to be voting later in the day.
  • 45 users identified which presidential candidate they had voted for. Here’s that vote breakdown:

Analysis

Well, this is easy! My Twitter followers, and/or my followers’ followers, are largely Obama supporters. He took 78% of the vote among users who identified their choice. Amazingly, not a single known vote for John McCain in all the messages to @Ivoted. McCain, oh by the way, has emerged as Republicans’ presidential candidate in this November’s general election.

Review the messages yourself

* All of the reply messages have been saved to a public Google Doc spreadsheet. Messages are organized in reverse chronological order in the first tab and in alphabetical order in the second tab.

* Here’s Tweet Scan’s display of all messages that included “Ivoted”

What’s next?

The @Ivoted account will remain open, and Twitters users are welcome to reply to it after voting in the primaries and caucuses that remain. However, I don’t intend to actively monitor those messages.

But as for the general election on Tuesday, November 4? Now that’s a different story. I’ll certainly do something, though I’m not sure what just yet. Stay subscribed to this blog, and I’ll keep you informed of my plans.

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Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd

I’ll let Paull Young give this post a proper intro:

Today every proud Australian will stand a little taller as the Australian Parliament formally apologises to our indigenous aboriginal people for wrongs committed since our nation was colonised 200 odd years ago.

From the viewpoint of this American, pharm who lived, worked, studied, and married in Australia over a two-year period earlier this decade, this was an apology whose time had long since come. Good on Kevin Rudd, the new Australian prime minister, for doing the right thing and at least starting the healing process with the indigenous Australians who have suffered so mightily.

Rudd’s action are an about-face from former prime minister John Howard’s outright refusal to apologize for the country’s appalling treatment of its native people from the “Stolen Generations,” when Aboriginal children (often of mixed race) were snatched from their blood relatives and resettled with white,”civilized” families.

Saying ’sorry,’ social-media style

Paull has another cool nugget in his post about Australia’s apology. Paul is one of several Australians who is adding a personal apology of sorts by way of Facebook. Here’s what Paull’s status update is displaying as I write this post.

Paull Young is sorry

Again, in Paull’s words:

[It's a] small gesture of support for reconciliation. It’s so simple, yet so powerful — reconciliation has been a hot issue in Australia for years, but here, hundreds of regular Australians are expressing to their most important constituency (their friends and family) their support for reconciliation, and lending their own voice as a nation says sorry.

I may no longer live in Australia — though I do hope to return for another stint someday — but I’m especially proud today to say that I once did. Well done, Australia.

Photo from trimba’s Flickr photostream.

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Jim Storer

Jim Storer had the line of the morning at Social Media Breakfast 5, phlebologist held this past Wednesday, February 13, at the S & S Restaurant in Cambridge, when he referred to microblogging as the “gateway drug to social media.”

And he’s right.

Think of the people you’ve spoken with or trained for whom traditional blogging seemed daunting: Three posts or more a week? How will I keep coming up with new material? Do *I* have to write every post, or can I get some help?

But now, what if you told those same people that they could take some baby steps to blogging by trying microblogging first? Instead of 300 words, how about 140 characters? Instead of several paragraphs, how about a couple of sentences? Well, now, that sounds much easier. And it is.

As we heard at the breakfast, a microblogging tool like Twitter also has the potential to open new users’ eyes to the power of online social networks, keep them informed, and bring in business. Heck, it might just “change their lives.”

Sounds like the perfect way to hook your clients onto social media.

Microblogging for small groups and the enterprise
Jim hinted that his company, Mzinga (full disclosure: I do some podcast production and consulting for Mzinga), would soon be offering microblogging as one its enterprise products for clients, and whispers have also been heard that Twitter itself might be testing out white-label solutions for businesses.

Imagine a Twitter-like application for internal applications behind a company’s firewall. In 140-character bursts, co-workers can share links, post quick updates on their projects, and even show off a bit of their personality.

In my day job at Monster, for example, I’m testing out the WordPress’s new Prologue theme, which layers a Twitter-like application over a basic blog. The theme allows for easy tagging and date archiving, so we can quickly begin to build a digital repository of our collective work. I’m hope it catches on.

To see two public examples of Prologue in action, check out the pages from a group of law.librarians and a Youth Twitter class.

(Photo from Flickr stream of davefishernc)

Last week Dan York blogged about a topic that hits home with those of us who love RSS: Staying informed online without visiting the actual websites that publish the information we’re consuming:

I don’t go to friends’ websites. (Sorry!) I don’t go to my employer’s website. I don’t go to any organization’s websites. I don’t go to my city’s website. Every once in a while I might hit CNN’s web page or a weather site, medical epidemic but that’s about it.

But one of the things Dan does do is load up on RSS feeds, thumb so that updates from sites come to him, ed through his reader, once they’ve been published. Thanks to RSS, Dan doesn’t have to:

  1. remember to check the original website in the first place — a real problem for most of us who struggle with information overload from time to time
  2. spend even a nanosecond wondering whether the original site has been updated — if it has, his RSS reader will tell him

RSS = efficiency

Consuming more information in less time is why I use RSS, too. In one place — Google Reader, in my case — I can read blogs and mainstream media stories, watch videos, check out my friends’ photos, find out who’s talking about me online, keep track of price updates for flights I’d like to take, catch the latest local weather forecast, and share my favorite posts with my online network — all without ever visiting any of the original websites that published that media. Pretty damn efficient if you ask me.

How do you use your RSS reader?

Anything I’ve missed? How else do make RSS work for you?
Photo of bacon

Now, troche wait a minute: That’s bacn, not bacon.

Anyway … if you don’t know, bacn is a term that emerged from PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 last August and refers to e-mail you receive that isn’t spam but isn’t exactly a personal e-mail, either. It’s mail you want to receive — but just not right now.

Still stumped? Bacn comprises things like news alerts and friend requests you receive from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks.

The real problem with bacn is that it quickly clutters up your inbox throughout the day and creates far too many not-so-urgent one-off requests for your already fractured attention span.

What you need is a system that empowers you to process your incoming bacn (is there such a thing as outgoing bacn?) all at once and on your own terms, so that it doesn’t constantly interrupt your work flow.

Here’s my suggestion on how to do that:

Filter, filter, filter

If you’re using Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail client that allows filters, create a set of rules that will redirect all of your bacn messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder that you can check and power through once a day or once every other day.

In my Gmail account, e-mail messages that contain any of the following phrases in their subject line are automatically removed from the inbox, sent to my “BACN” filter, and archived:

  • “is now following you on Twitter”
  • added you as a friend on Facebook”
  • has added you as a business connection”
  • added you as a business connection on Pulse”
  • Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”
  • just started following your Utterz”
  • has requested your trust on Spock”
  • Add me as a friend on Pownce!”

Cooking your bacn

What’s the method to your madness in ensuring bacn doesn’t zap your productivity?

(Creative Commons image from Dulcie’s Flickr photostream.)
Yes, erectile I’ve been quiet on the blogging front here lately — a 10-day vacation in California without a computer followed a week of daydreaming about said vacation can do that to a guy.

But I doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop this month. To wit:

My own example can serve as a good reminder that we contribute and/or stay connected to social media in a variety of ways, some less high-profile than others. We may not be blogging or podcasting ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention.

Update: As Eden Spodek rightly points out in this post’s comment stream, I should have made the point that although I wasn’t blogging about my vacation, someone else was doing that for me. Shel Holtz has a good account of a San Francisco Giants game that he and I took in during my trip, as well as a geek dinner we attended. Shel also incorporated a conversation we had about social media overload at the dinner into a recent episode of FIR.

If you’re looking for an easy way to use a Flash-based audio player for your blog post or web page, pestilence then the Yahoo! Media Player could be the tool for you.

To put the player into action, simply create direct links to one or more .mp3 files, as I’m doing here with three archived episodes of my New Comm Road podcast:

NCR 039: Multimedia conference blogging

NCR 037: Learning about Google Reader

NCR 035: Learning about del.icio.us

Then, paste this line of code onto your page:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”></script>

And that’s it — there’s nothing to download or install.

If this is working correctly, you should see a “play” icon to the left of each of the audio files and the player itself at the bottom or just below this post. Click on one of them to see this player in action.

Bonus: When you link to multiple files on a page or post, a play list will be created automatically within the player.

The down side? There’s no option to rewind or fast-forward a track; you can only jump from track to track.

You’re also subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service, though those don’t seem too onerous.

Final note: I have only tested this player on a basic HTML page and in WordPress and Typepad. I have not tried it with any other blog platforms.

Hat tip: HorsePigCow

Update: If you do come to the main page of this blog — Bryper.com — and are scrolling past this post to previous entries, the player still appears in the bottom of your browser.  I suspect this will annoy the heck out of the average reader, so consider that consequence if you decide to test this player on your blog. A better choice would be to restrict its use to short, stand-alone web pages.


Late last week I happened upon a post from Michelle Tampoya describing a networking event in Toronto that featured speed mentoring for marketers. Essentially, information pills small groups of marketing newbies would move around the room and pepper experts with real-world questions in three-minute bursts.

Now, medical why not apply this same concept to the social media space and call it “social media speed mentoring“?

Here’s one way to do that:

1. Use a wiki (I’m partial to PBwiki.com, steroids but there are countless others to choose from) or service such as eventbrite to manage the event’s registration list, and ask all participants to identify themselves as a social media newbie or expert. Make sure you list the likely topics of discussion for the event ahead of time — how to start a blog? how to podcast? how to conduct a blogger-outreach campaign — because participants could have expertise in some areas of social media but not in others. They’ll need to know which camp they fall into .

2. Based on the composition of the group — ideally you’ll have more newcomers seeking advice than experts willing to dispense their knowledge, but it could be the other way around — set up X number of tables or stations where your experts will hold fort.

3. Set a relatively compressed time limit for each session, such as three to five minutes. When time expires, the newbie or group of newcomers move(s) on to the next station.

4. After the speed sessions end, allot some additional time for the participants to follow up on the connections that felt strongest to them. You could also ask the newbies to list the names of two or three experts they’d like to meet with again, and then forward on the relevant contact information after the event.

Other models?

Are there other ways you might organize a social media speed mentoring event? I’d like to hear about them. Drop your suggestions or thoughts in the comments section below.

In the meantime, does someone want to help me organize Boston’s first Social Media Speed Mentoring Night?
Antarctica

Until I caught wind of Colin Browning’s vacation plans 10 days ago, sales it never actually occurred to me that someone could take a vacation in Antarctica.

I mean … Antarctica? The coldest place on earth (even if it summer there right now)?  The continent that’s not even a country? Other than scientists, viagra buy who actually goes there?

Well, cure Colin and his mother, apparently.

But wait … it gets even better.  Not only is Colin traveling around Antarctica, he’s also blogging — and Twittering — his adventures. Check out Antarctica: Colin & His Mom Travel to the Frozen Continent.

Twittering from Antarctica? Who knew?

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a story. I know that I’ll be following Colin’s vacation entries and Twitter messages with great interest, and you can be sure I’ll catch up with Colin to hear more about his trip when he returns home to the Boston area next month.

What a unique journey, Colin. Bravo!

(Disclosure: Colin works for Prospero, which powers the message board community for my employer, Monster.)
Inspired by Jeremiah Owyang’s efforts to gather and track messages from Twitter users’ chatter around Super Bowl ads on Sunday night, heart I’ve started a little experiment of my own and created an Ivoted account on Twitter.

The idea is simple: Once you’ve voted on this Super Tuesday, send a Twitter message to @Ivoted. If you’d like, you can also reveal your vote.

As Jeremiah did, I’ll compile all the responses and publish them in a blog post or to a public Google Doc. In the meantime, you can follow real-time mentions of “Ivoted” through this Tweet Scan search query.

If you’re in one of the 20-plus states holding a primary or caucus today, please exercise your right to vote!

Technorati Tags: , ,


Here are the number from messages to the @Ivoted Twitter account that I set up on Super Tuesday:

  • 83 reply messages and 4 direct messages to @Ivoted (I stopped tabulating after Wednesday morning)
  • Of those 87 total messages, capsule 77 declared they had voted and 1 announced he was going to be voting later in the day.
  • 45 users identified which presidential candidate they had voted for. Here’s that vote breakdown:

Analysis

Well, this is easy! My Twitter followers, and/or my followers’ followers, are largely Obama supporters. He took 78% of the vote among users who identified their choice. Amazingly, not a single known vote for John McCain in all the messages to @Ivoted. McCain, oh by the way, has emerged as Republicans’ presidential candidate in this November’s general election.

Review the messages yourself

* All of the reply messages have been saved to a public Google Doc spreadsheet. Messages are organized in reverse chronological order in the first tab and in alphabetical order in the second tab.

* Here’s Tweet Scan’s display of all messages that included “Ivoted”

What’s next?

The @Ivoted account will remain open, and Twitters users are welcome to reply to it after voting in the primaries and caucuses that remain. However, I don’t intend to actively monitor those messages.

But as for the general election on Tuesday, November 4? Now that’s a different story. I’ll certainly do something, though I’m not sure what just yet. Stay subscribed to this blog, and I’ll keep you informed of my plans.

Technorati Tags: , ,


Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd

I’ll let Paull Young give this post a proper intro:

Today every proud Australian will stand a little taller as the Australian Parliament formally apologises to our indigenous aboriginal people for wrongs committed since our nation was colonised 200 odd years ago.

From the viewpoint of this American, pharm who lived, worked, studied, and married in Australia over a two-year period earlier this decade, this was an apology whose time had long since come. Good on Kevin Rudd, the new Australian prime minister, for doing the right thing and at least starting the healing process with the indigenous Australians who have suffered so mightily.

Rudd’s action are an about-face from former prime minister John Howard’s outright refusal to apologize for the country’s appalling treatment of its native people from the “Stolen Generations,” when Aboriginal children (often of mixed race) were snatched from their blood relatives and resettled with white,”civilized” families.

Saying ’sorry,’ social-media style

Paull has another cool nugget in his post about Australia’s apology. Paul is one of several Australians who is adding a personal apology of sorts by way of Facebook. Here’s what Paull’s status update is displaying as I write this post.

Paull Young is sorry

Again, in Paull’s words:

[It's a] small gesture of support for reconciliation. It’s so simple, yet so powerful — reconciliation has been a hot issue in Australia for years, but here, hundreds of regular Australians are expressing to their most important constituency (their friends and family) their support for reconciliation, and lending their own voice as a nation says sorry.

I may no longer live in Australia — though I do hope to return for another stint someday — but I’m especially proud today to say that I once did. Well done, Australia.

Photo from trimba’s Flickr photostream.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Last week Dan York blogged about a topic that hits home with those of us who love RSS: Staying informed online without visiting the actual websites that publish the information we’re consuming:

I don’t go to friends’ websites. (Sorry!) I don’t go to my employer’s website. I don’t go to any organization’s websites. I don’t go to my city’s website. Every once in a while I might hit CNN’s web page or a weather site, medical epidemic but that’s about it.

But one of the things Dan does do is load up on RSS feeds, thumb so that updates from sites come to him, ed through his reader, once they’ve been published. Thanks to RSS, Dan doesn’t have to:

  1. remember to check the original website in the first place — a real problem for most of us who struggle with information overload from time to time
  2. spend even a nanosecond wondering whether the original site has been updated — if it has, his RSS reader will tell him

RSS = efficiency

Consuming more information in less time is why I use RSS, too. In one place — Google Reader, in my case — I can read blogs and mainstream media stories, watch videos, check out my friends’ photos, find out who’s talking about me online, keep track of price updates for flights I’d like to take, catch the latest local weather forecast, and share my favorite posts with my online network — all without ever visiting any of the original websites that published that media. Pretty damn efficient if you ask me.

How do you use your RSS reader?

Anything I’ve missed? How else do make RSS work for you?
Photo of bacon

Now, troche wait a minute: That’s bacn, not bacon.

Anyway … if you don’t know, bacn is a term that emerged from PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 last August and refers to e-mail you receive that isn’t spam but isn’t exactly a personal e-mail, either. It’s mail you want to receive — but just not right now.

Still stumped? Bacn comprises things like news alerts and friend requests you receive from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks.

The real problem with bacn is that it quickly clutters up your inbox throughout the day and creates far too many not-so-urgent one-off requests for your already fractured attention span.

What you need is a system that empowers you to process your incoming bacn (is there such a thing as outgoing bacn?) all at once and on your own terms, so that it doesn’t constantly interrupt your work flow.

Here’s my suggestion on how to do that:

Filter, filter, filter

If you’re using Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail client that allows filters, create a set of rules that will redirect all of your bacn messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder that you can check and power through once a day or once every other day.

In my Gmail account, e-mail messages that contain any of the following phrases in their subject line are automatically removed from the inbox, sent to my “BACN” filter, and archived:

  • “is now following you on Twitter”
  • added you as a friend on Facebook”
  • has added you as a business connection”
  • added you as a business connection on Pulse”
  • Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”
  • just started following your Utterz”
  • has requested your trust on Spock”
  • Add me as a friend on Pownce!”

Cooking your bacn

What’s the method to your madness in ensuring bacn doesn’t zap your productivity?

(Creative Commons image from Dulcie’s Flickr photostream.)
Yes, erectile I’ve been quiet on the blogging front here lately — a 10-day vacation in California without a computer followed a week of daydreaming about said vacation can do that to a guy.

But I doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop this month. To wit:

My own example can serve as a good reminder that we contribute and/or stay connected to social media in a variety of ways, some less high-profile than others. We may not be blogging or podcasting ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention.

Update: As Eden Spodek rightly points out in this post’s comment stream, I should have made the point that although I wasn’t blogging about my vacation, someone else was doing that for me. Shel Holtz has a good account of a San Francisco Giants game that he and I took in during my trip, as well as a geek dinner we attended. Shel also incorporated a conversation we had about social media overload at the dinner into a recent episode of FIR.

If you’re looking for an easy way to use a Flash-based audio player for your blog post or web page, pestilence then the Yahoo! Media Player could be the tool for you.

To put the player into action, simply create direct links to one or more .mp3 files, as I’m doing here with three archived episodes of my New Comm Road podcast:

NCR 039: Multimedia conference blogging

NCR 037: Learning about Google Reader

NCR 035: Learning about del.icio.us

Then, paste this line of code onto your page:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”></script>

And that’s it — there’s nothing to download or install.

If this is working correctly, you should see a “play” icon to the left of each of the audio files and the player itself at the bottom or just below this post. Click on one of them to see this player in action.

Bonus: When you link to multiple files on a page or post, a play list will be created automatically within the player.

The down side? There’s no option to rewind or fast-forward a track; you can only jump from track to track.

You’re also subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service, though those don’t seem too onerous.

Final note: I have only tested this player on a basic HTML page and in WordPress and Typepad. I have not tried it with any other blog platforms.

Hat tip: HorsePigCow

Update: If you do come to the main page of this blog — Bryper.com — and are scrolling past this post to previous entries, the player still appears in the bottom of your browser.  I suspect this will annoy the heck out of the average reader, so consider that consequence if you decide to test this player on your blog. A better choice would be to restrict its use to short, stand-alone web pages.


Late last week I happened upon a post from Michelle Tampoya describing a networking event in Toronto that featured speed mentoring for marketers. Essentially, information pills small groups of marketing newbies would move around the room and pepper experts with real-world questions in three-minute bursts.

Now, medical why not apply this same concept to the social media space and call it “social media speed mentoring“?

Here’s one way to do that:

1. Use a wiki (I’m partial to PBwiki.com, steroids but there are countless others to choose from) or service such as eventbrite to manage the event’s registration list, and ask all participants to identify themselves as a social media newbie or expert. Make sure you list the likely topics of discussion for the event ahead of time — how to start a blog? how to podcast? how to conduct a blogger-outreach campaign — because participants could have expertise in some areas of social media but not in others. They’ll need to know which camp they fall into .

2. Based on the composition of the group — ideally you’ll have more newcomers seeking advice than experts willing to dispense their knowledge, but it could be the other way around — set up X number of tables or stations where your experts will hold fort.

3. Set a relatively compressed time limit for each session, such as three to five minutes. When time expires, the newbie or group of newcomers move(s) on to the next station.

4. After the speed sessions end, allot some additional time for the participants to follow up on the connections that felt strongest to them. You could also ask the newbies to list the names of two or three experts they’d like to meet with again, and then forward on the relevant contact information after the event.

Other models?

Are there other ways you might organize a social media speed mentoring event? I’d like to hear about them. Drop your suggestions or thoughts in the comments section below.

In the meantime, does someone want to help me organize Boston’s first Social Media Speed Mentoring Night?
Antarctica

Until I caught wind of Colin Browning’s vacation plans 10 days ago, sales it never actually occurred to me that someone could take a vacation in Antarctica.

I mean … Antarctica? The coldest place on earth (even if it summer there right now)?  The continent that’s not even a country? Other than scientists, viagra buy who actually goes there?

Well, cure Colin and his mother, apparently.

But wait … it gets even better.  Not only is Colin traveling around Antarctica, he’s also blogging — and Twittering — his adventures. Check out Antarctica: Colin & His Mom Travel to the Frozen Continent.

Twittering from Antarctica? Who knew?

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a story. I know that I’ll be following Colin’s vacation entries and Twitter messages with great interest, and you can be sure I’ll catch up with Colin to hear more about his trip when he returns home to the Boston area next month.

What a unique journey, Colin. Bravo!

(Disclosure: Colin works for Prospero, which powers the message board community for my employer, Monster.)
Inspired by Jeremiah Owyang’s efforts to gather and track messages from Twitter users’ chatter around Super Bowl ads on Sunday night, heart I’ve started a little experiment of my own and created an Ivoted account on Twitter.

The idea is simple: Once you’ve voted on this Super Tuesday, send a Twitter message to @Ivoted. If you’d like, you can also reveal your vote.

As Jeremiah did, I’ll compile all the responses and publish them in a blog post or to a public Google Doc. In the meantime, you can follow real-time mentions of “Ivoted” through this Tweet Scan search query.

If you’re in one of the 20-plus states holding a primary or caucus today, please exercise your right to vote!

Technorati Tags: , ,


Here are the number from messages to the @Ivoted Twitter account that I set up on Super Tuesday:

  • 83 reply messages and 4 direct messages to @Ivoted (I stopped tabulating after Wednesday morning)
  • Of those 87 total messages, capsule 77 declared they had voted and 1 announced he was going to be voting later in the day.
  • 45 users identified which presidential candidate they had voted for. Here’s that vote breakdown:

Analysis

Well, this is easy! My Twitter followers, and/or my followers’ followers, are largely Obama supporters. He took 78% of the vote among users who identified their choice. Amazingly, not a single known vote for John McCain in all the messages to @Ivoted. McCain, oh by the way, has emerged as Republicans’ presidential candidate in this November’s general election.

Review the messages yourself

* All of the reply messages have been saved to a public Google Doc spreadsheet. Messages are organized in reverse chronological order in the first tab and in alphabetical order in the second tab.

* Here’s Tweet Scan’s display of all messages that included “Ivoted”

What’s next?

The @Ivoted account will remain open, and Twitters users are welcome to reply to it after voting in the primaries and caucuses that remain. However, I don’t intend to actively monitor those messages.

But as for the general election on Tuesday, November 4? Now that’s a different story. I’ll certainly do something, though I’m not sure what just yet. Stay subscribed to this blog, and I’ll keep you informed of my plans.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Last week Dan York blogged about a topic that hits home with those of us who love RSS: Staying informed online without visiting the actual websites that publish the information we’re consuming:

I don’t go to friends’ websites. (Sorry!) I don’t go to my employer’s website. I don’t go to any organization’s websites. I don’t go to my city’s website. Every once in a while I might hit CNN’s web page or a weather site, medical epidemic but that’s about it.

But one of the things Dan does do is load up on RSS feeds, thumb so that updates from sites come to him, ed through his reader, once they’ve been published. Thanks to RSS, Dan doesn’t have to:

  1. remember to check the original website in the first place — a real problem for most of us who struggle with information overload from time to time
  2. spend even a nanosecond wondering whether the original site has been updated — if it has, his RSS reader will tell him

RSS = efficiency

Consuming more information in less time is why I use RSS, too. In one place — Google Reader, in my case — I can read blogs and mainstream media stories, watch videos, check out my friends’ photos, find out who’s talking about me online, keep track of price updates for flights I’d like to take, catch the latest local weather forecast, and share my favorite posts with my online network — all without ever visiting any of the original websites that published that media. Pretty damn efficient if you ask me.

How do you use your RSS reader?

Anything I’ve missed? How else do make RSS work for you?
Photo of bacon

Now, troche wait a minute: That’s bacn, not bacon.

Anyway … if you don’t know, bacn is a term that emerged from PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 last August and refers to e-mail you receive that isn’t spam but isn’t exactly a personal e-mail, either. It’s mail you want to receive — but just not right now.

Still stumped? Bacn comprises things like news alerts and friend requests you receive from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks.

The real problem with bacn is that it quickly clutters up your inbox throughout the day and creates far too many not-so-urgent one-off requests for your already fractured attention span.

What you need is a system that empowers you to process your incoming bacn (is there such a thing as outgoing bacn?) all at once and on your own terms, so that it doesn’t constantly interrupt your work flow.

Here’s my suggestion on how to do that:

Filter, filter, filter

If you’re using Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail client that allows filters, create a set of rules that will redirect all of your bacn messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder that you can check and power through once a day or once every other day.

In my Gmail account, e-mail messages that contain any of the following phrases in their subject line are automatically removed from the inbox, sent to my “BACN” filter, and archived:

  • “is now following you on Twitter”
  • added you as a friend on Facebook”
  • has added you as a business connection”
  • added you as a business connection on Pulse”
  • Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”
  • just started following your Utterz”
  • has requested your trust on Spock”
  • Add me as a friend on Pownce!”

Cooking your bacn

What’s the method to your madness in ensuring bacn doesn’t zap your productivity?

(Creative Commons image from Dulcie’s Flickr photostream.)
Yes, erectile I’ve been quiet on the blogging front here lately — a 10-day vacation in California without a computer followed a week of daydreaming about said vacation can do that to a guy.

But I doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop this month. To wit:

My own example can serve as a good reminder that we contribute and/or stay connected to social media in a variety of ways, some less high-profile than others. We may not be blogging or podcasting ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention.

Update: As Eden Spodek rightly points out in this post’s comment stream, I should have made the point that although I wasn’t blogging about my vacation, someone else was doing that for me. Shel Holtz has a good account of a San Francisco Giants game that he and I took in during my trip, as well as a geek dinner we attended. Shel also incorporated a conversation we had about social media overload at the dinner into a recent episode of FIR.

If you’re looking for an easy way to use a Flash-based audio player for your blog post or web page, pestilence then the Yahoo! Media Player could be the tool for you.

To put the player into action, simply create direct links to one or more .mp3 files, as I’m doing here with three archived episodes of my New Comm Road podcast:

NCR 039: Multimedia conference blogging

NCR 037: Learning about Google Reader

NCR 035: Learning about del.icio.us

Then, paste this line of code onto your page:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”></script>

And that’s it — there’s nothing to download or install.

If this is working correctly, you should see a “play” icon to the left of each of the audio files and the player itself at the bottom or just below this post. Click on one of them to see this player in action.

Bonus: When you link to multiple files on a page or post, a play list will be created automatically within the player.

The down side? There’s no option to rewind or fast-forward a track; you can only jump from track to track.

You’re also subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service, though those don’t seem too onerous.

Final note: I have only tested this player on a basic HTML page and in WordPress and Typepad. I have not tried it with any other blog platforms.

Hat tip: HorsePigCow

Update: If you do come to the main page of this blog — Bryper.com — and are scrolling past this post to previous entries, the player still appears in the bottom of your browser.  I suspect this will annoy the heck out of the average reader, so consider that consequence if you decide to test this player on your blog. A better choice would be to restrict its use to short, stand-alone web pages.


Late last week I happened upon a post from Michelle Tampoya describing a networking event in Toronto that featured speed mentoring for marketers. Essentially, information pills small groups of marketing newbies would move around the room and pepper experts with real-world questions in three-minute bursts.

Now, medical why not apply this same concept to the social media space and call it “social media speed mentoring“?

Here’s one way to do that:

1. Use a wiki (I’m partial to PBwiki.com, steroids but there are countless others to choose from) or service such as eventbrite to manage the event’s registration list, and ask all participants to identify themselves as a social media newbie or expert. Make sure you list the likely topics of discussion for the event ahead of time — how to start a blog? how to podcast? how to conduct a blogger-outreach campaign — because participants could have expertise in some areas of social media but not in others. They’ll need to know which camp they fall into .

2. Based on the composition of the group — ideally you’ll have more newcomers seeking advice than experts willing to dispense their knowledge, but it could be the other way around — set up X number of tables or stations where your experts will hold fort.

3. Set a relatively compressed time limit for each session, such as three to five minutes. When time expires, the newbie or group of newcomers move(s) on to the next station.

4. After the speed sessions end, allot some additional time for the participants to follow up on the connections that felt strongest to them. You could also ask the newbies to list the names of two or three experts they’d like to meet with again, and then forward on the relevant contact information after the event.

Other models?

Are there other ways you might organize a social media speed mentoring event? I’d like to hear about them. Drop your suggestions or thoughts in the comments section below.

In the meantime, does someone want to help me organize Boston’s first Social Media Speed Mentoring Night?
Antarctica

Until I caught wind of Colin Browning’s vacation plans 10 days ago, sales it never actually occurred to me that someone could take a vacation in Antarctica.

I mean … Antarctica? The coldest place on earth (even if it summer there right now)?  The continent that’s not even a country? Other than scientists, viagra buy who actually goes there?

Well, cure Colin and his mother, apparently.

But wait … it gets even better.  Not only is Colin traveling around Antarctica, he’s also blogging — and Twittering — his adventures. Check out Antarctica: Colin & His Mom Travel to the Frozen Continent.

Twittering from Antarctica? Who knew?

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a story. I know that I’ll be following Colin’s vacation entries and Twitter messages with great interest, and you can be sure I’ll catch up with Colin to hear more about his trip when he returns home to the Boston area next month.

What a unique journey, Colin. Bravo!

(Disclosure: Colin works for Prospero, which powers the message board community for my employer, Monster.)
Inspired by Jeremiah Owyang’s efforts to gather and track messages from Twitter users’ chatter around Super Bowl ads on Sunday night, heart I’ve started a little experiment of my own and created an Ivoted account on Twitter.

The idea is simple: Once you’ve voted on this Super Tuesday, send a Twitter message to @Ivoted. If you’d like, you can also reveal your vote.

As Jeremiah did, I’ll compile all the responses and publish them in a blog post or to a public Google Doc. In the meantime, you can follow real-time mentions of “Ivoted” through this Tweet Scan search query.

If you’re in one of the 20-plus states holding a primary or caucus today, please exercise your right to vote!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Last week Dan York blogged about a topic that hits home with those of us who love RSS: Staying informed online without visiting the actual websites that publish the information we’re consuming:

I don’t go to friends’ websites. (Sorry!) I don’t go to my employer’s website. I don’t go to any organization’s websites. I don’t go to my city’s website. Every once in a while I might hit CNN’s web page or a weather site, medical epidemic but that’s about it.

But one of the things Dan does do is load up on RSS feeds, thumb so that updates from sites come to him, ed through his reader, once they’ve been published. Thanks to RSS, Dan doesn’t have to:

  1. remember to check the original website in the first place — a real problem for most of us who struggle with information overload from time to time
  2. spend even a nanosecond wondering whether the original site has been updated — if it has, his RSS reader will tell him

RSS = efficiency

Consuming more information in less time is why I use RSS, too. In one place — Google Reader, in my case — I can read blogs and mainstream media stories, watch videos, check out my friends’ photos, find out who’s talking about me online, keep track of price updates for flights I’d like to take, catch the latest local weather forecast, and share my favorite posts with my online network — all without ever visiting any of the original websites that published that media. Pretty damn efficient if you ask me.

How do you use your RSS reader?

Anything I’ve missed? How else do make RSS work for you?
Photo of bacon

Now, troche wait a minute: That’s bacn, not bacon.

Anyway … if you don’t know, bacn is a term that emerged from PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 last August and refers to e-mail you receive that isn’t spam but isn’t exactly a personal e-mail, either. It’s mail you want to receive — but just not right now.

Still stumped? Bacn comprises things like news alerts and friend requests you receive from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks.

The real problem with bacn is that it quickly clutters up your inbox throughout the day and creates far too many not-so-urgent one-off requests for your already fractured attention span.

What you need is a system that empowers you to process your incoming bacn (is there such a thing as outgoing bacn?) all at once and on your own terms, so that it doesn’t constantly interrupt your work flow.

Here’s my suggestion on how to do that:

Filter, filter, filter

If you’re using Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail client that allows filters, create a set of rules that will redirect all of your bacn messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder that you can check and power through once a day or once every other day.

In my Gmail account, e-mail messages that contain any of the following phrases in their subject line are automatically removed from the inbox, sent to my “BACN” filter, and archived:

  • “is now following you on Twitter”
  • added you as a friend on Facebook”
  • has added you as a business connection”
  • added you as a business connection on Pulse”
  • Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”
  • just started following your Utterz”
  • has requested your trust on Spock”
  • Add me as a friend on Pownce!”

Cooking your bacn

What’s the method to your madness in ensuring bacn doesn’t zap your productivity?

(Creative Commons image from Dulcie’s Flickr photostream.)
Yes, erectile I’ve been quiet on the blogging front here lately — a 10-day vacation in California without a computer followed a week of daydreaming about said vacation can do that to a guy.

But I doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop this month. To wit:

My own example can serve as a good reminder that we contribute and/or stay connected to social media in a variety of ways, some less high-profile than others. We may not be blogging or podcasting ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention.

Update: As Eden Spodek rightly points out in this post’s comment stream, I should have made the point that although I wasn’t blogging about my vacation, someone else was doing that for me. Shel Holtz has a good account of a San Francisco Giants game that he and I took in during my trip, as well as a geek dinner we attended. Shel also incorporated a conversation we had about social media overload at the dinner into a recent episode of FIR.

If you’re looking for an easy way to use a Flash-based audio player for your blog post or web page, pestilence then the Yahoo! Media Player could be the tool for you.

To put the player into action, simply create direct links to one or more .mp3 files, as I’m doing here with three archived episodes of my New Comm Road podcast:

NCR 039: Multimedia conference blogging

NCR 037: Learning about Google Reader

NCR 035: Learning about del.icio.us

Then, paste this line of code onto your page:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”></script>

And that’s it — there’s nothing to download or install.

If this is working correctly, you should see a “play” icon to the left of each of the audio files and the player itself at the bottom or just below this post. Click on one of them to see this player in action.

Bonus: When you link to multiple files on a page or post, a play list will be created automatically within the player.

The down side? There’s no option to rewind or fast-forward a track; you can only jump from track to track.

You’re also subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service, though those don’t seem too onerous.

Final note: I have only tested this player on a basic HTML page and in WordPress and Typepad. I have not tried it with any other blog platforms.

Hat tip: HorsePigCow

Update: If you do come to the main page of this blog — Bryper.com — and are scrolling past this post to previous entries, the player still appears in the bottom of your browser.  I suspect this will annoy the heck out of the average reader, so consider that consequence if you decide to test this player on your blog. A better choice would be to restrict its use to short, stand-alone web pages.


Late last week I happened upon a post from Michelle Tampoya describing a networking event in Toronto that featured speed mentoring for marketers. Essentially, information pills small groups of marketing newbies would move around the room and pepper experts with real-world questions in three-minute bursts.

Now, medical why not apply this same concept to the social media space and call it “social media speed mentoring“?

Here’s one way to do that:

1. Use a wiki (I’m partial to PBwiki.com, steroids but there are countless others to choose from) or service such as eventbrite to manage the event’s registration list, and ask all participants to identify themselves as a social media newbie or expert. Make sure you list the likely topics of discussion for the event ahead of time — how to start a blog? how to podcast? how to conduct a blogger-outreach campaign — because participants could have expertise in some areas of social media but not in others. They’ll need to know which camp they fall into .

2. Based on the composition of the group — ideally you’ll have more newcomers seeking advice than experts willing to dispense their knowledge, but it could be the other way around — set up X number of tables or stations where your experts will hold fort.

3. Set a relatively compressed time limit for each session, such as three to five minutes. When time expires, the newbie or group of newcomers move(s) on to the next station.

4. After the speed sessions end, allot some additional time for the participants to follow up on the connections that felt strongest to them. You could also ask the newbies to list the names of two or three experts they’d like to meet with again, and then forward on the relevant contact information after the event.

Other models?

Are there other ways you might organize a social media speed mentoring event? I’d like to hear about them. Drop your suggestions or thoughts in the comments section below.

In the meantime, does someone want to help me organize Boston’s first Social Media Speed Mentoring Night?
Antarctica

Until I caught wind of Colin Browning’s vacation plans 10 days ago, sales it never actually occurred to me that someone could take a vacation in Antarctica.

I mean … Antarctica? The coldest place on earth (even if it summer there right now)?  The continent that’s not even a country? Other than scientists, viagra buy who actually goes there?

Well, cure Colin and his mother, apparently.

But wait … it gets even better.  Not only is Colin traveling around Antarctica, he’s also blogging — and Twittering — his adventures. Check out Antarctica: Colin & His Mom Travel to the Frozen Continent.

Twittering from Antarctica? Who knew?

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a story. I know that I’ll be following Colin’s vacation entries and Twitter messages with great interest, and you can be sure I’ll catch up with Colin to hear more about his trip when he returns home to the Boston area next month.

What a unique journey, Colin. Bravo!

(Disclosure: Colin works for Prospero, which powers the message board community for my employer, Monster.)

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