Assignment One – great blogging experience

Thinking.Picture1-for-Thinking-Thursdays (1)Well my thoughts about blogging, tweeting, face booking etc, hmm actually it is only because of this assessment that I created a twitter and wordpress blog account. While I already had a facebook account I  still felt a bit reserved in taking part or joining the crowd in the exploration of social media. However I must say, while privacy and shyness are the very few reasons I didn’t  like to do this, i do feel great now that I have been blogging and learning more about social media tools and how they can really help!

Initially it took me a while to get my head around the different styles and tools and widgets etc that  you can use to enhance your blog appearance and experience. I couldn’t understand what the dashboard does and how to set the widget or make up my mind on the theme page to choose :-)   Using Word Press has been great! And I am eager to learn more and continue to learn the different setting and explore the tools that helps with blogging.

My Checklist for this assignment:

  1. Welcome page - check
  2. About Me - check
  3. Regular ,dated entries  - check
  4. Archive –  check
  5. Contact – Response/Feedback/Leave a note - check (feedback on “About” page)
  6. Custom menu with (sub)categories - check  
  7. Add icons to publicise your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, and Yahoo!, - check
  8. Site map – semi check :-)
  9. Use of Widgets (i.e., Display a hit/view counter on your blog via using the Blog Stats Widget) - check
  10. Claiming your blog through Technorati (search engine for blogs – allows you to use Technorati services to increase your blog’s visibility). - check

Considered reflections that describe your experiences in creating, editing and using your blog  - check – the 4C’s
Considered reflections, learning and opinions on the concepts and issues covered over weeks 1-5.

Bonus marks will be allocated to those students who exhibit Cook’s 4Cs, Communication, Connection, Cooperation and Collaboration - check.

I plan to do more blogging and participate in more social media expeditions to help me keep up with the latest.

Thank you all who “liked” and commented on my posts.

Cooperation

How do we use social media to promote teamwork in your business? There are several tools which we might use, but first lets define what we are talking about.

Cooperation

Cooperation involves the breaking down of a task into separate pieces which can be completed by separate individuals and recombined to complete the larger task. This is different to collaboration which involves mixing peoples efforts on the same task. Some of the social media tools you might use for co-operation in your business are

  • Media Sharing – it is easy now to share your media through different social networks. you can now share you music, videos and photos, examples are through Picasa, Flickr, Instragram, Facebook and Twitter. Having these documents, images and videos shared effectively is invaluable for quickly making new material available to the team, additionally this can help limit duplication of efforts and out of date documentation.
  • Social Bookmarking -allows sharing of websites with others example through  Stumbleupon, Digg etc. This is a great tool for leveraging online resources for support, training or creative purposes within the team. Having the bookmarks grouped allows quick and easy sharing with larger groups.

Connection

Connection 

Tools for Connection

  • Social Networking:

Niall Cook talks about the value of Social Networking:  “connection tools relies much on connecting employees with content and each other”. Social Networking allows people (customers and businesses) to connect with each other, connecting online based on ones  hobbies, causes or interests they share. Furthermore  within business Social Networking is increasingly becoming an important marketing avenue and a vital feedback source.

  • Search :

Search engines can be great for finding information, or spectacularly useless. It is commonly the case with not-so-spectacular engines to end up with no results, or a million results that you dont want. One approach to fixing this issue has been the rise of social search, primarily supported by the idea of tagging. Tagging a page or document allows context to the result beyond the media itself. Rather than finding a result based on whats in the document, you can find it based on what the previous person used it for, or their interpretation of its usefulness. This can create much more relevant results when the community is active enough to tag appropriately.

  • RSS :

RSS helps people to be subscribed to their favorite sites and have it updated every time there in changes or additions to the site. This tool saves time in the same way that Facebook updates save you checking all your friends pages individually. Within a company an RSS feed could also be used to ensure the quick dissemination of information to staff.

rss

Technorati Claim Code

Posting technorati claim code : ZJ9NSTJ3UEJ9

This is to confirm registration and ownership on the technorati website

Collaboration and communication are different functions.

Communication vs Collaboration

Communication vs Collaboration

Source: Enterprise 2.0  - Niall Cook

Collaboration and communication are different functions. 

Collaboration using social media within a company

Collaboration Opportunities 

Today’s workplace has become far more decentralized, with employees, which often never meet in person and still need to work in harmony. Social media tools can be a huge benefit to workgroups, which require collaboration without contact.

Some of the basic tools, which can support this kind of work, are forums and instant messaging. However perhaps less common, but also powerful tools are Blogs, Wikis, File-sharing, and Microblogging.

Blogs can be used to provide insightful comments and leadership from company experts, while encouraging conversation. Wikis are great for providing a compendium of knowledge for staff to refer to. File sharing can provide for easier, faster transferring of larger files. While microblogging can be used to good effect as a type of one to many instant messaging within a collaboration group.

Collaboration Difficulties

Finding management support for social media collaboration software can be a difficulty, as it is a new development and therefore not part of many managers repertoire and in a related issue, change management for social media is also a new field and can present surprising challenges.

Beyond implimenting the changes, there can also be issues in how the staff uses the new tools provided to them, it may be that the benefits are not clear, in which case they will not be used. Additionally if guidelines are not put in place the new system may be missused and end up costing efficiency instead of generating it. Also the point of collaborative tools is to connect groups and facilitate communication, to do this the business goals need to be crystal clear and the groups clearly defined.

Once the collaboration is in place and working, management must also play their part. Communication is a two way street and if management is not willing to listen as well as instruct, then much of the benefits of collaboration will be lost.

Sources:

http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/03/internal-collaboration-and-social-media-technology.html

http://www.blogging4jobs.com/social-media/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-implementing-internal-collaboration-tool/

Communication: Which social media tool is right for my company’s purpose?

Today, more than ever, there are a great number of choices to consider when finding a social media tool to further your business interests. However this can be a difficult task as its not so obvious what the various benefits and drawbacks of the tools are. One important step is to categorize the type of information you are attempting to get across to the market (or to your employees, if setting up an internal social media tool).

Types of Information:

  1. Small Talk (Phatic) - This information type takes the form of bite sized information parcels, which can be quickly read and digested. You could use this type of information to provide alerts or updates, but also to answer questions publicly or as humorousadvertising. The quick delivery of information keeps what you say relevant however this information type can have the disadvantage of turning your media tool into a stream of relevant-at-the-time information, and irrelevant and disordered information later. Twitter is the poster child for this information type, but Facebook could also be easily used.
  2. Emotional (Gut-Level) - Information of this type is intended to invoke an emotional response. This could take the form of a call to action, or a donation drive. The information conveyed is not a factual treatise, but often relies on sympathy or anger to motivate. From a business perspective this approach is good when, viewed as a financial decision, your message would be hard to sell (eg. Donations or Advocacy ). Facebook or Google Plus may be good choices to convey this information.
  3. Factual - If you need to retain your business knowledge or to provide an informational resource for teaching or investigation, you will need to create a rich factual hub where questions can be answered. This could be used as a way to inform the market about you products or services, but it can also be used as a knowledge management tool within the company to retain and enhance employee skills. Discussion boards and Blogs are tailor made to provide this kind of communication.
  4. Evaluative - Opinion pieces are readable and persuasive and can provide for a evocative mix of factual and emotional language. This communication is not just a tool for providing information but also provides a viewpoint and culture for customers and employees to relate to.

Have a look at this excellent infographic from Socialcast on the topic.

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