Happy Monday

July 28, 2008

Morning all,

I am curious whether you have had a chance to digest all of the information from the conference? What opinions have you been able to form about social media and do you see it playing a part in your organization?

I look forward to hearing from you.



Thank You for a Great Conference!!

July 20, 2008

Whew!  I love attending and participating in industry conferences (especially when it’s on a topic close to my heart like social media), but it can be really draining!  Taking three days off of a work at the beginning of the week to participate in the conference just means that you now have two days the rest of the week to do five days’ worth of work!  That’s why I’m just now getting to this wrap-up post.  The good part of this is that I’ve had some time to reflect on all of the great dialogue that we had, both in the group setting and on a one-on-one level.

On Wednesday afternoon, I asked everyone to write the following ten things to take away from the conference.  Here they are:

  1. Be a Champion
  2. Get Leadership Buy-in
  3. Experiment on Your Own
  4. Continue to Learn
  5. Take Risks
  6. Involve IT, Legal, Public Affairs, training, change management
  7. Integrate Into Existing Strategies
  8. Start Small
  9. It’s About Culture
  10. Quality vs. Quickness

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but in listening the multitude of fantastic speakers that Kelly was able to bring together last week, these were the top ten points that were made over and over again.  From the first pre-conference workshop that Grant McLaughlin and I presented to the the Nancy Mulroy’s final presentation on how she applied the things she learned at last year’s conference, I loved seeing all of the various ways organizations big and small are using social media.

This conference served as validation for me – as you heard on Wednesday, my company is currently developing and implementing a suite of social media tools behind our firewall, and it’s always good to hear that we’re on the right track while staying flexible enough to adapt and learn from what others are doing.  More importantly though, I met a lot of great people who I’d like to continue learning from.  I think that’s always the most powerful thing about these types of conferences – the people you meet and the relationships that grow from that.

That’s why I’m really excited about having this blog and the soon-to-come wiki site available.  As we continue down the long and winding road of using social media, it’s good to know that there will be a resource available here for you to ask questions, engage in dialogue and get ideas.

I’ll post again once we get the wiki site set up so that you can all download the presentation materials.  But why wait?  Start your blog, start tweeting, create a YouTube channel, or just start using an RSS reader. Just remember, if you get stuck, there’s a whole community here on this blog where help is just a comment away!


Hartford Police Department’s Social Media Experience

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Nancy Mulroy – Hartford Police Department’s Public Information Officer

Topic: From the past to the present: How to gain social media success

Nancy is a former attendee of the social media conference and in a very short amount of time after attending she has been able to bring social media to the Harford Police Department. She emphasized the “one step at a time” approach. At first the Dept. brought RSS feeds to the websites and she sold the local press and media on their use vs. conventional listserv technology. It took approximately a week to develop the RSS feed with a few hours from an internal developer.

As the possible benefits of social media became apparent, police chief Daryl Roberts started a blog to gain trust with the community, work with people and address the need for help solving certain crimes in the area.

Nancy recommended using a three E approach when changing your organization:

  • Explore
  • Engage
  • Enlighten

Nancy’s involvement came in part with the Web Governance Committee and gaining buy in. By taking a lead in web governance Nancy was able to apply her new knowledge and guide discussions on development.

Key Points:

  • Use multi-purpose content
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – add social media (e.g., comment features) to existing sites
  • Maintain Service Relationships and safety


Chief Roberts’ Blog

Harford Police Website


NIH: Using audio & video to your advantage

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Joe Balintfy – National Institutes of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Topic: How to use audio and video to transform your internal and external communications and reap the benefits – with minimal costs

In order to reach a larger audience, Joe has had extensive experience working with Audio Reports, Podcasts and Vodcasts. Joe shared his experience and stated his affinity for higher production quality, scripted content. He has invested in a production quality camera and recording equipment. The reasoning stems from a desire for any individual or organization to look at his content and possibly rebroadcast his information, extending his marketing reach.

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/NIHOD


Time invested costs much more than equipment. Joe offered some time estimates for professional quality productions based on his experience.

Audio report – One to Two days
Podcast – Additional One to Two days
Vodcast – Approximately 1 – 2 Weeks depending on length


Cross promote across all of your social media outlets. Simple actions increase traffic to other websites.

Use tools that make your life easier, for example:

Eureka Alert (A system to make sure journalists covering science get distribution)
Audio tools such as: Adobe Audition, ITunes distribution

Video: Final Cut Pro (MAC based)

Additional Resources: 



Dept. of State: “Need to Know” to “Need to Share”

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Bruce Burton – Department of State

Topic: How to use social media innovations and web 2.0 tools to promote a knowledge-sharing culture among a widely dispersed organization


The Department of State certainly works in an environment dependent on knowledge. With 57,000+ employees across the world the organization has faced communication issues. Communication issues often stem from the highly autonomous business units (embassies and bureaus) and a communication structure that has not changed significantly since the era of Thomas Jefferson. In addition with the rise of the Cold War, a “need to know” mentality prevailed.

Bruce offered amazing insight into the Dept. Of State as he said the organization is moving from a culture of “need to know” to “need to share.” As a result of recent efforts over the past 4-5 years, the Dept. is successfully growing the adoption of tools such as Diplopedia, the internal wiki for the department.

Social Media is being implemented to help the organization achieve the following tasks:

  • Inform internal stakeholders
  • Manage information
  • Collaborate
  • Unite
  • Educate

User Adoption:

Bruce mentioned that The Department of State has approached everything in a viral way and will continue to do so. As a result hundreds of groups and pages of information have been formed.


Blog Software: Moveable Type
Internet address for information: http://www.state.gov/m/irm/c23839.htm


DoD Social Media & Outreach Efforts

July 18, 2008

Speakers: Charles Holt & Jamie – US Department of Defense

Topic: How to integrate social media (blogging, podcasting & other new media) with traditional channels to maximize your communication efforts and results


The DoD is becoming more attuned to digital natives; those aged 18-25. Along with being raised in generation “me” the DoD recognized many of their incoming recruits were intermediate to advanced users in social media. The traditional military hierarchy had to adjust. Paraphrasing the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates stated in the featured video clip, “It is a sad state of affairs when Al Qaeda is better at communications than the US.”

Charles and many of his colleagues have started creating a culture within the DoD where social media is not only accepted, it is embraced like traditional media. Of course the DoD is similar to many other organizations. They tried many social media applications and test them for their functionality before committing resources to their upkeep.

Their outreach efforts were very similar to DHS by conducting blogger roundtables. In addition the DoD has their own blog as well as their own online video channel where they post as many military videos as possible.

DoD Link Blog: http://www.defenselink.mil/Blogger/Index.aspx


As a result of the social media presence, the DoD is maintaining a presence in the blogosphere even when they are not on the national news. As items become more popular they are getting new requests for information that may have been disseminated days and months ago. For video they use feedroom.

A key lesson learned is to always upload linkable source information. By doing this, members of on-line communities can argue over the facts and not opinions that very well could be based on inaccurate information.

Key Thing to Remember:

The DoD has experimented with many social media applications and found what works best for their organization. Perhaps your organization should take on a similar mentality.


Don Burke & Intellipedia

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Don Burke – CIA: Directorate of Science and Technology

Topic: Implementing Social Software in a Need-To-Know Culture


I personally enjoyed learning about history from this CIA social media expert. Rightly so, many organizations build up scar tissue from rough experiences as they mature. New policies and safeguards are often put in place and they hinder collaboration across an organization. Social media offers a new opportunity to overcome scar tissue. Collaboration behind the firewall is possible for complex and adaptive organizations.

Don’s personal experience with social media stems from the implementation of Intellipedia. The site enables any user to contribute with all users able to see changes. In many ways it is an aggregator service for the organization. In addition users are asked to use attributable points of view instead of neutral points of view.

Intellipedia adheres to three core principles

  1. Work at broadest audience possible
  2. Think topically, not organizationally
  3. Replace existing business processes

Key Point

When implementing social media make sure you do it for yourself. By taking the time to make yourself more efficient you will better yourself and collaboration will be a by-product.


YouTube: Did you know 2.0


Simple sabotage field manual written in 1944 (Yes, I found the real manual for you to reference)