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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

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Posted on: 20/02/2012

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ online surveillance Bill C30 has been lifted from parliamentary discussions and shot into the social media sphere with support from Vikileaks, Twitter and blogs. Who’s right or wrong may take some time to answer, but people are wanting answers now about the effects of social media on politics.

Social media research is a relatively new field. Melissa Martin’s column in The Winnipeg Free Press Voting with your tweet? Toews’ Twitter flap may show social media as new grassroots political force highlights some US research into the new media getting up-close-and-personal with politics. Heather LaMarre, a professor at the University of Minnesota, has been researching the ‘off-line’ effects of ‘online’ social media movements. The jury is still out – but research shows they are having an impact.

Martin’s refers to the academic lingo for this movement – ‘intermedia agenda-setting’ – then translates to ‘plain speak’ -meaning politicians listening via traditional media. Going one step farther, in plain language, the voice of the masses on social media are not only being heard, they are being sought out.  The translation, on the surface, is simple and clear. They are sending out strong waves of public sentiment that can not only alter, but bring down, political decisions, officials and parties.

Grassroots movements are growing like weeds on the Web. Attempts to squash them, will be a bit like trying to control dandelions by hand-picking them. For every one eliminated, a new one seems to grow in its place.

CBC’s Community Team discussion ‘Should the controversial surveillance bill be scrapped?‘ is gaining some momentum, driven by the force of public and social media rejection of the bill and concern over its extensive reach into their lives. When the minister supporting a bill that has potential to infringe on its citizens’ privacy, personal communications and online presence isn’t aware of the Bill’s small print, it is time for a stop and think session.

What do you think?

Social media surveillance exposes Bill C30

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It looks like technology has joined chocolate and coffee as one of human's top cravings. According to a recent survey tablets 
have surpassed laptops on the consumer 'tech craving' list. But, that's just the tip of the chocolate shavings pile.

If seeing is believing, watch Mashable.com's video explaining research results saying 69% of consumers crave tablets.
And if you thought an apple a day was the way to go, would you believe two? Opinion-based social community SodaHead.com 
polled 1,150 readers about this year's gift wish list. Guess what we are craving? Yes, Apple's iPhone 4S led with 39%; with
31% sinking our teeth into the iPad2. Kindle Fire and Xbox Kinect followed in third and fourth - quite a distance behind.
With Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project study finding 66% of adult Americans use social media, it is
no wonder that tablets, smart phones and readers top the list.

What's topping yours?

The latest report on real-time communications tools surpassing e-mail in popularity and practice is not a new finding. But, it is a new warning to Canadian businesses to embrace social and interactive media so they don’t get left behind. And, the sooner the better.

According the Calgary Herald story, nearly half of chief information officers surveyed said instant, interactive and intuitive platforms  – like SharePoint, Google Docs and Skype – will replace e-mail in five years. Shocking? No. Social Media Today reported this in 2008. Transform Magazine, in 2002, reviewed three  business case studies about collaborative technology in an article ‘Collaboration: Beyond E-mail’. In reality, it is already happening.

In a recent blog post – Social Media as a professional tool – I reported that although 77% of Canadians have a social media presence, less than 30% used them for professional reasons. Personal use will increase confidence. Professional use will increase connectivity. All of this can lead to an increase in benefits to your organization.

Like newspapers, email will probably not disappear. But, the speed, social interaction and resource saving aspects of the new communications sharing technology cannot be ignored. Plug-in now and join the conversation – before you are left behind.

Plain language and social media may appear to have a lot in common. They promote conciseness, usability and targeting messages to your audiences. But is there more than just a communications bond between them?

Plain Language spent the early part of this century doing what it did best – print content. But, the movement is gaining momentum when it comes to content we put on websites, in blogs, and on social media platforms. CommonCraft’s Social Media in Plain Language videos have shown great SEO and popularity – although they could benefit from an updated sequel version. However, while many of us continue to use print to get our plain language message across – the power of video (done well) and other social media platforms can’t be ignored.

Emerging Technologies Librarian is just one site blogging about the new Plain Language Medical iPhone App. It takes medical terms and translates them into plain language at the click of a button. This demonstrates how the power of plain language and social media can really have a cultural impact on critical communications. How long before other sectors follow?

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for achieving a stronger connection is the bad publicity plain language government plans get – promising plain language, but not delivering. Social Media Strategery blogger Steve Raddick, gives a history of US government attempts to get beyond stage one. City of Calgary Alderwoman Druh Farrell has council support for reviving their earlier plain language commitment, which Literacy Alberta executive director Janet Lane whole-heartedly supported via their Facebook Page.  The movement may seem slow, but once it gets to the next stage, it will be brilliant.

The power is in the synergy of the two: using plain language on social media platforms and social media platforms to promote plain language. Both will help us move both to ‘higher ground’.

Check Out: International Plain Language Day plans on Facebook.

Having relocated from the UK to Canada I find I am using Skype and FaceTime about 3 times as much as my landline for personal calls. But, what are businesses using? And, why aren’t they using visual conference calling more? This branch of the social media tree is powerful, persuasive and cost saving – with many of the options free.

Mashable profiles all four, recognizing freeconferencecalling.com as a starting point.

Then they analyze Rondee, Wiggio, GroupMe and Google Voice. They all have outstanding characteristics: Rondee, easy meeting coordination; Wiggio, other group management services; GroupMe; the quintessential mobile group meeting App; and Google Vocie, people simply call your contact number at the same time and you approve.

This technology has come a long way, and it is quite surprising that many people – who also complain about the travel time and expense – are still driving, flying, riding to meetings that could be just as effective in a virtual environment. And, reduce the carbon footprint and costs substantially.

HR consulting firm Randstad’s recent Global Workmonitor survey shows Canadian employees prefer social media for personal, not professional use, lagging behind employees in Asia.

Although 77 percent of Canadians have a social media account, only 27 percent said they used them for business purposes such as job hunting. In China and India, the study showed the majority used social media sites solely for professional reasons.

Asians surveyed said they also used the platforms to gather information about customers, compared with about 30 percent in the US, UK and Europe.

Although Canadians said they believed social media could help them find a job, the percentage using it for that reason was smaller than in other countries surveyed. The survey concluded that Canadian workers lag behind their global counterparts in taking advantage of social media to further their careers.

Everybody is doing it – blogging, tweeting, Facebook posting, LinkedIn updates – but not everyone is doing it well. Here are some great tips on top social media behaviour that will help you get top results.

The Japanese crises – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear problems – have attracted global attention. Some businesses sincerely want to use social media to show support, other efforts are thinly veiled attempts at self-promotion. Always remember social media users are knowledgeable – for the most pat – not gullible. ClickZ provides some clear guidelines for brands on ‘helping Japan’.

After having to fight with fans more interested in yelling into their mobile phone than cheering for their team recently, I am wondering if the result is going to be a please switch off your phone campaign. But, it’s not just individuals, many organisations are not using mobile technology in the best – and most strategic – way. Adobe Scene 7’s Mobile Best Practices white paper on ClickZ looks at how industry leaders are making the most of mobile technology – with excellent results. The focus is on targeting your strategy – not throwing everything in one pot.

But, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, and keep your fans happy, it’s all about ‘content’. Many organisations are more concerned about showing off, while their sophisticated social media clients are more interested in substance. Fresh, interesting content is what keeps some brands well out front. More Visibility has some great tips on how to create social media content that people will ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’. Even if you are well established, a quick refresher on the basics never hurts.

 


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