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It’ll not come from one book, or two or many. Having blogged for 11 years and six months I should know some things. I share some ideas here alongside some thoughts from Argenti and Barnes’s 2009 book ‘Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications‘ that I have read cover to cover these last few days courtesy of Kindle.
Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications
Blogs and social communities have sparked ‘a complete overhaul of the business environment, especially in the context of communication.’ Agenti and Barnes (2009:K168)
K = Kindle … they don’t give a page number. How could you in a e-Book?
Education is changing too, blurring the lines between school and the workplace, and encouraging workplace learning with distance learning specialists and online courses from members of the Association of Business Schools surely set to grow
The difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0 – observation versus participation, status versus dynamic, monologue versus conversation. Agenti and Barnes (2009)
What is most relevant to corporate communications managers is as relevant to other institutions, whether government, education or charity.
You need to be using:
• Blogs (such as WordPress. Edublogs, Diaryland)
• Microblogs (Twitter)
• Social Networks (such as Facebook, MySpace)
• Video-sharing platforms (YouTube, Vimeo)
• Search engine marketing and optimization
• Corporate web sites/ online newsrooms
• Wikis • Mash-ups • Viral/word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.
The trick is to find ‘a middle ground between a completely centralised and a wholly decentralised structure is the best way to maintain an effective communications strategy in today’s environment.’ K593
My take on this is that to succeed organisations need to be:
• Real (neither journalistic, corporate or academic in style)
• Passionate but not obsessive
• Media Savvy
• Tooled up
• With a give, take, try anything and receive mentality.
• Tag it all
• Optimise out of habit
• Have fun, be playful with surveys, questionnaires and polls.
The view Sir Martin Sorrell takes is ‘The more control you keep over the message, the less credible it is. And Vice Versa.’ Martin Sorrell (2008: K1520)
There are three skills sets required to take advantage of this:
1. Identifying influential bloggers 2. Building relationships with them 3. Engaging with them with the intent of receiving positive coverage
Points 1 and 2 was the experience I had in Diaryland.
Here from 1999 bloggers teamed up with designers, where the two functions were recognised as different, like the copywriter and art director in advertising. Here you could form groups and join groups, link to friends for a myriad of reasons, but best of, in the list limited to 70 friends you were/are updated constantly on the status – it helps to know that you’re in a group where people update regularly. It is largely from the community of those who write, that you find people who also read and comment, they are various consumers and emitters of content.
So much that I experienced here has migrated to other blogsites.
Things that work, as well as buddies and buddy updates, are the surveys and groups, creating engaging or fund questionnaires to share with others and forming groups too, where for example I set up lists for those to be the first to make 500, then 1000 and then 2000 entries … Fun too are the banner ads you can make and use to promote interest within the Diaryland community. Perhaps Andrew’s (its creator’s0refusal to allow advertising is what is causing a Diaryland demise.
‘Metaphorically speaking, RSS is the gateway drug of experiential online monitoring’. Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1183)
My view is GoogleAlerts does this better, it spread the net for you, whereas with RSS you need to have found the feed first. What is more GoogleAlerts feeds you snacks of information that are easy to consume, note, reference, keep, pass on or over.
In emails the authors interviewed Courtney Barnes and Shabbir Imber Safdar.
‘You need to understand that it’s not a cut-and-paste job. You need to participate in the conversation and adapt the content for the environment. ‘ Thus said (Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1159)
Look, listen and learn … engage
To do this engagement is the first things, so blogs and Twitter, social networking and video, photographs … even some family history and reuniting with school and college friends. Then you tools like Technorati and Goole Alerts.
Search out appropriate keywords
Joined Linked In too.
Having been engaged with four/five groups I made the mistake of joining and dozen and will have to drop most of these. Some post several times and hour 24/7 and I have ceased to see the worth of reading that much from one group, especially if the same question is being answered a thousand times. Managing this maelstrom is a task in itself, being alert to the new, dropping the redundant, buying into and out of the right people and places as their influence and quality of comment waxes and wanes.
Most company blogs are ‘dull, drab and don’t stimulate discussion’. • 66% rarely get comments • 70% only contain comment on business topics • 56% republish press releases or summarise news that is already public.
Argenti P.A. and Barnes M.C. 2009 ‘Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications’ McGrawHill.
Sorrell. M (2008) ‘Public Relations: The Story behind a Remarkable Renaissance,@ Institute for Public Relations Annual Distinguished Lecture, New York, November 5, 2008.
Meanwhile I’ve got these two to read.
And why books cover to cover?
I’m sick of snacking from a smorgasbord. I want a consistent voice, something up to date, that leaves an impression. A book does this for me, an article never does.
Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates
This concerns the Gutenberg, books and libraries – I failed, though I had a joyous time first in my own blog (started 1999, has the information I require, not tagged, poor archiving, couldn’t find it, read loads of other stuff I’d forgotten about), then via Google and too often in Wikipedia, all to find out something on the Bodliean Library that is in a file in the shed and in my head (somewhere).
On visiting the Bodliean in the early 17th century I believe this person said that if he read all the books then held he’d know everything or some such. Do we suppose that the 3 million+ entries in Wikipedia are the sum total of world knowledge?
Blogging for me ended 25 years of keeping a journal in a hard back book. The complete undoing of my life with books will be further undone with the purchase of an e-Reader (a Kindle, I get one tomorrow).
There could be no libraries without books and people to read them, nor universities that gather around the library’s finite resource. With the digital ‘liberation’ of books will traditional libraries and universities go the way of the OU too?
Hyperbole is symptomatic of invention
I could in time drill through a year of reflection on great innovations from the book to the telegraph, courtesy of H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ and some extra reading I did over the summer on radio, film and TV, Edison and the phonograph and light bull.
Exaggeration reflects a human quest from improvement, and good sales talk.
It may distract thinkers from considering the wider consequences of technology change – though I suppose we are no better able to stop the future as Luddites exactly 200 years ago.
I won’t go along with some ‘Law of Technology’ unless there is some scientific and statistical evidence proof attached to it. It’s hardly Newton’s Law of Motion. I do buy the bell-curve elaborated fully in Roger’s seminal ‘Diffusion of Innovations.’
Nor do I buy Naughton’s idea that childhood ever ended at seven or twelve or fourteen.
All to be discussed elsewhere perhaps? The H800 cafe or OU Blog.
I’m 50 in September. My late grand-father told me to ‘enjoy it while you’re young.’
He’s not around to see that I stretched his advice by a couple of decades. He left school at started work on his 14th birthday; did his childhood end that day? I’ve just been reading about Lady Anne Clifford. When her father died she was 15. Her battle and wishes to secure her inheritance started that day. This is 1605. She’d had a governess and tutor. Did she grow up that day or age 13 years 2 months when she joined the court of Queen Elizabeth? Journalist are generalists. They don’t need to stick to facts, or cite sources or even stand up to peer review.
Is this the dumbing down of the OU or education’s necesary slide into informality?
A product of the age, where we Twitter and network, forum thread, then use the same style to write assignments.
Innovators do it because they see a need and feel a desire to come up with an answer
For some it makes money (Bill Gates, Thomas Eddison) for others it does not (Tim Berners-Lee). Academicsdo it for reputation, and status (and indirectly salaries/stipends pension), whereas entrepreneurs do it to generate wealth.
The problem they solve both is a turning point at least, where one story ends and another begins.
H.G.Wells thought we’d all be flying around in lighter than air dirigibles rather than aeroplanes – predictions are fraught.
He got it right plenty of times though.
We may think that social networking has exploded upon us all of a suddent with Facebook. A BBC radio series on the history of Social Networking took as back to the 1970s. It reminded me of Minitel in France. There was (and still is) MySpace, remember. And Friends Reunited? Are you there yet? More like Friends Disjointed now.
To develop and maintain relationships in a fractured world but it is the personal relationship that we want with those who govern us that is having radical consequences for people in nations like Tunisia, Iran, China and Egypt in this linked in world.
Are you Linked In? Will it work so well with 300 million signed up, as it does with 90 million? Does it work? What is it for? What are the unknown consequences? I’d better not say it, that would spoil the next decade.
Remember all that talk of the leisure time we’d had? Longer holidays and three-day weeks because our lives would be so much easier to manage? Instead of working 9-5 we work through our sleep (indeed if you’ve read my early entries you’ll realise that I rate rather highly my mind does for me once I am asleep).
(Which will be a new challenge with a Kindle on the pillow)
Educause defines an eportfolio as ‘a collection of authentic and diverse evidence, drawn from a larger archive, that represents what a person or organisation has learned over time, on which the person or organisation has reflected, designed for presentation to one or more audiences for a particular rhetorical purpose’. Martin Weller’s Eportfolio Report for JISC (2005)
‘A collection (or archive) of reflective writing and associated evidence, which documents learning and which a learner may draw upon to present her/his learning and achievements.’ JISC
“The overarching purpose of portfolios is to create a sense of personal ownership over one’s accomplishments, because ownership engenders feelings of pride, responsibility, and dedication.” (Paris and Ayres, 1994,p.10).
“The e-portfolio is the central _and common point for the student experience. It is a reflection of the student as a person undergoing continuous personal development, _not just a store of evidence.” (Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Coordinator, Thanet College, quoted in JISC, 2008).
Reflection is the “heart and soul” of a portfolio, and is essential to brain-based learning (Kolb, 1984; Zull, 2002).
‘To sustain a knowledge economy the workers in that economy need to continually develop new knowledge and skills, thus there is an imperative for many developed countries to promote lifelong learning as a cultural expectation.’ Weller (2007:35)
‘E-portfolios as ‘a means of gathering resources and monitoring progress is almost a requirement for complex learning to take place.’ Weller (2007:39)
‘The ePortfolio is a new concept, with the “e” part of the term suggesting that this is an online environment loaded with electronic tools that can be used to develop and present a portfolio package’. Jafari (2004:06)
The CMS breathed new life into cash-strapped campuses by providing a system to offer and sell distance-learning courses for both certificate and degree programs. Jafari (2004:04)
The end-user is a human being, and not all human beings have the same demands or expectations for human-computer interaction. Jafari (2004:03)
‘A digitized collection of artifacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, or institution.’ Reese and Levey (2009)
Helen Barrett describes an eportfolio an ‘Academic Myspace” and she suggests that, ‘The TaskStream electronic portfolio has been described by students participating in the REFLECT Initiative as an “academic MySpace.” If only we could capture that level of motivation while furthering the goals of deep learning in formative electronic learning portfolios, then we may realize the real promise of using technology to both improve and showcase student achievement’.
Jafari, A. (2004) ‘The “sticky” e-portfolio system: tackling challenges and identifying attributes’ (online), Educause Review, vol. 39, no. 4 (July/August), pp. 38–49. Available from: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0442.pdf
I have this crazy idea that I should write 10,000 pages, 1,000 words per entry then hit the ‘enter@random’ button to create a novel.
It won’t work will it?
I’ve tried it with 1,500 pages. I’ve printed it off.
Try building a house on a landfill site. Try listening to six radio stations simultaneously.
Where’s the thread?
Content. Only because I’m tapping with such speed and ferocity at the keyboard that my finger tips hurt. Thimbles for keyboard addicts?
Twitter has me on its line, for now. Several other blogging sites have their nets over my head. I tickle them then let go, or get out … whatever it is. LiveJournal, Blogger, Writerspress.com, MySpace and FaceBook soon irritate me.
F*cking adverts smacking me in the face very few seconds, scr*wing the download and mangling my already tired brain.
AOL pushes their blogging tools and space in our face. Is this not all familiar?
Create Your Journal
Choose your Journal format. You can have a private journal, which you share only with invited friends and family, or a public one, visible to anyone on the Internet.
Set Up the Structure
You can choose the layout and colours with a Custom Journal, or have it done for you with a Simple Journal.
Invite Your Friends
Add your first entry and create a list of people you want to share it with. Save it in your Favourites so you can update it easily.
Develop a Writing Habit
Update your journal regularly, to avoid disappointing your fans. You can IM an entry to your Journal and set up an Alert so you know when someone’s left a comment.
Join the Journals Community
Share your tips with other bloggers on the message board.
Search by keyword or Screen Name:
Was all of this not pioneered by the likes of Diaryland?
Isn’t ‘Diaryland’ a far more meaningful and powerful ‘brand’ for this kind of thing? So you ever feel like the guy who bought Betamax when everyone else has VHS, the guy who ran Netscape against all others, had a MAC well before PCs created Windows? Used ‘Ask Jeeves’ before Google got a hold?
Is it always the case that the little guy trail blazes only to be bounced out of existence by others with clout and capital?
Has Diaryland never developed a suitably healthy revenue stream?
Are others innovating fasting than them (or should I say him?)
Should Diaryland have sold up a year ago before the inevitable like the creators of Tripod before them?
With difficulty I am ‘playing away’ in Live Journals and Myspace
It pains me when Celebs in the UK get excited about either one of these having just discovered the pleasure of writing online.
Do I have a choice though?
Do we have a choice?
Do we want to be read or ignored?
My favourite writers, those who have kept a dairy online for several years, long ago went elsewhere.
Diaryland is becoming like a retired film star in their 70s or 80s. You can’t believe they are still alive. When they finally die in the 90s, like Bob Hope, those still around have little recollection of what it was all about.
If I’m still here it is only because I can’t be bothered to learn a new set-up, even if it replicates all the best ideas from Diaryland. I feel just as I did when I gave up my SLR camera for a digital camera. I gave the new technology a go early, ran both simultaneously, then switched allegiance when I found the old system couldn’t or wouldn’t keep up.