Saturday, February 28, 2009

Social Media - an open book

Everything you tweet is searchable on the web. This can be good and bad. Good if you're strategically using key words for which you want to be found; and bad if you aren't mindful that if you're not nice, it can come back to bite you.

And that bite came back hard recently for a PR agency.

An employee working for the firm landed in Memphis to deliver a presentation to more than 150 people at a potential Client. On arrival, he wrote the following on Twitter, "True confession, but I'm in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, 'I would die if I had to live here!'"

It just so happened that the potential client staffer saw the message and forwarded it to numerous company executives. And that is not all, the potential Client drafted a response. The last line of the letter says it all, "True confession: many of my peers and I don't see much relevance between your presentation this morning and the work we do." The story rapidly quickly spread across the Internet.

This hard lesson is also a wake-up call for many businesses. Twitter is a public communication medium. Everything said is permanently etched in Twitter's digital fabric.

"While Twitter can be effective as a marketing tool, if you are not careful, it can become a viral tool for negative press. Anything typed in Twitter is 'ON THE RECORD,'.

"Treat all your conversations like your grandmother was listening," social-media consultants suggests,

"Your company should be clear in its expectations on your employees' Twitter communication," .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Surgeons send 'tweets' from operating room

It's potentially a risky surgery, but everything's ready: The doctors and nurses are in the operating room, the surgical instruments are sterilized and ready to go, and the chief resident is furiously Twittering on his laptop.

That's right -- last week, for the second known time, surgeons Twittered a surgery by using social-networking site Twitter to give short real-time updates about the procedure.

Following the February 9 operation online were other doctors, medical students and the merely curious.

Observers say Twittering about a procedure is a natural outgrowth of the social networking media revolution.
Doing this removes a real communication barrier. It helps make something scary much more comprehendable.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Google tracking your every move

On Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, Google launched Latitude, a location-tracking service that uses GPS hardware found in smart phones to pinpoint your position on a map and share that information with friends.

When The Police wrote the stalker-classic song "Every Breath you Take" they probably weren't thinking that a Google application for your cellphone would make their promise "I'll be watching you" so easy.

But for many young people and technophiles, there's no worry about Big Brother or other nosy eyes -- they want you to know exactly where they are.

Called Latitude, a new Google application allows users to track the physical location of friends and family from their mobile phone or computer. Already, frightened parents and privacy groups are thinking about the safety implications.

The basic technology, called geomapping, has been available for years in other products like Loopt and there's been nary a worry. But once Google touches something, it instantly becomes part of the mainstream.

The way Google promotes Latitude, the new tool certainly has some significant upsides. Already, a number of enthusiasts lay out a multiplicity of benefits for the application.

"I do like the idea of seeing where my friends are: I live in a medium sized town that's (45 kilometres) away from a city ... (so) if I'm killing time in there I'd like to know if any of my friends are around so we could hook up," Alex Martindale, a member of the Facebook group "I am using Google Latitude" told in an email.

"However, I think the most exciting part of Google Latitude is providing location-based services to people's mobile phones: imagine if you looked up train or bus times from your phone, the website could know where you are and instantly provide you with the relevant information."

Latitude can track a person's location down to a few metres by GPS, or to a few kilometres using a cell tower. The person's location can then be broadcasted using the uber-popular Google Maps.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good Conference

Provide reliable Internet access, and plenty of power outlets. Operate on the assumption that each attendee has a laptop and that everyone will join the wifi network simultaneously. Make sure the conference center or other venue you contact has the capability to handle this.

Schedule generous breaks between sessions. Recommend at least 15 minutes to a half-hour ideal. Audience members almost always go to ask the speaker(s) questions, Usually audience goes to speakers during break to ask questions. If they know they only have a few minutes till the next session starts, they might not ask those questions, and move on to the next session.

Give everyone the space to schmooze. Wide passageways and open public spaces encourage attendees to interact with each other.

Get Wired and Get Hired

The news isn't good: Fidelity Investments this week announced its second round of job cuts, NEC is cutting 20,000 jobs and Motorola just shed 4,000 workers. But despite the doom and gloom, some companies are indeed hiring. As the optimists say, the sun is always shining somewhere.
Here are a few ways you can use online tools and social media to find a position that suits your needs, and puts a few bucks in your wallet.
Get networked. Take the time to build your online networks, both social and professional, using tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, suggests LinkedIn's own Mario Sundar.
Use social-media megaphones. There's no shame in looking for work. Let folks in your networks know that you are looking for a job, says Sundar. Write about your job search on your blog, if you have one, and Twitter about your search.
Research smarter. Check out specific companies to target via research tools like this one from LinkedIn, which allows you to network with specific people at the companies you might want to work for, Sundar says.
Solicit LinkedIn recommendations. "A strong recommendation from your manager highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee," writes entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, adding, "If you were a manager yourself, recommendations from your employees can also highlight leadership qualities."
Hit the boards. In addition to the typical job boards, try Rafe Needleman's Spreadsheet of Sunshine: Who's Hiring, PR News Online and, the latter of which sports a simple Google-like interface and handy RSS feed.

The Po!nt: Be sure you take full advantage of online tools and include a heavy dose of social media in your hunt for a new and promising gig.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How many inbound links does your site have?

If you have an old site with no links, this will add to the time you need to wait. If you have a number of links already, Google will probably be in to check out things within a week or so of updating.

How optimized is your site before SEO?

If your established site has no optimization in place at all, and has navigation that is blocking search engine spiders, sometimes opening the site up can result in a rather quick turn-around for results.