Posts Tagged ‘Radick’


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!


Wikis in Action – Day 2 Interactive Session

July 16, 2008

So, in today’s interactive session, we wanted to give our conference attendees an opportunity to actually see the power of wikis and the “wisdom of crowds” here at the Conference.  Sure, we could have walked through the history of a Wikipedia page, or talked about how Intellipedia has changed the way the Intelligence Community creates and shares information, but it’s a lot easier to to take these thoughts and ideas back to your organization if you’ve actually experienced it.

With this afternoon’s session, I’m hoping to illustrate the power that wikis can have when used within an organization.  I’ve done this interactive session a couple of times before, and it’s gotten really good feedback so far, so I’m hoping for a similar result here today.

The Hypothesis

A roomful of people can provide the same answers as the “experts” in less time, often with more complete information and leads to additional information.

The Setup

Two recognized “experts” are given a list of questions that they’re given 10 minutes to answer in isolation.  During this same ten minutes, the audience is given the same list of questions and are asked to answer the questions in real-time.  Today’s experts will be David Neff from the American Cancer Society and Jack Holt from the Department of Defense.  What follows are the questions and the “crowd’s” answers to those questions.

The Questions

Who won last night’s All-Star game?

  • American League
  • The game was the longest in history – 15 Innings
  • Score: 4 – 3
  • Last All-Star game in Yankee Stadium

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in front of what DC landmark?

  • The Lincoln Memorial in 1963
  • Part of the speech was ad lib

I just found out that my friend has lung cancer, and I want to learn more – how can I find out more information?

  • American Cancer Society
  • NIH Cancer Division
  • Cancer Center of America
  • Use custom homepages with RSS feeds from resources
  • Sloan-kettering
  • Virtua Cancer Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Lance Armstrong’s Book
  • WebMD

I want to place RSS feeds onto my website, but don’t know where to start – what are the questions that I need to ask to get started?

  • What type of content should have RSS feeds
  • Target Audience
  • Where should the RSS feeds be located on the website
  • Who are the experts in the organization
  • Who is going to code the RSS feeds
  • How would you promote and integrate RSS feeds into your communication strategy
  • Where are some of the sources
  • Organizational policies regarding RSS
  • How to track RSS feeds
  • Audience’s knowledge of RSS

What types of wiki software are available?

  • MediaWiki
  • Social Text
  • Confluence
  • PB Wiki
  • Wikipedia Wiki page has all current wikis listed
  • SharePoint

I want to learn more about social media – what are the some of the best learning resources?

  • Presenters
  • Digg
  • Attendees
  • Social Media Today
  • Social Media for Government Blog
  • Wikipedia
  • Technorati
  • Wikinomics
  • Wiki Patterns
  • CNet

We’ve all worked with public affairs officers and they seem to have a wide range of capabilities and knowledge. What types of training should a public affairs officer be required to take?

  • Writing for the web
  • Strategic public relations
  • Attend conferences
  • Crisis management
  • Media training
  • Media relations

Who’s going to win the Red River Shootout this year (Texas-Oklahoma)?

  • OU!!!

After reviewing the answers from the “experts,” we found that the hypothesis proved true (for the most part!).  The experts often provided a “right” answer, but the “crowd” was usually able to not only match the experts’ right answer, but provide a more complete answer, and often more information that led to answers to follow-on questions too.  While this exercise didn’t prove anything, it did illustrate the potential social media can have within the organization when you open up and put your information on a platform like a wiki, rather than keeping it contained within a channel like email.


A morning with Mike Panetta

July 15, 2008

Speaker: Mike Panetta – US “Shadow” Representative (D-DC) Grassroots Enterprise

Topic: Moving beyond E-mail: Using Social Media Technologies to Communicate More Efficiently and Effectively With Your Stakeholders


Increasingly, our population has reached an e-mail overload. It is no longer the choice of remaining connected and is not as instantaneous as our culture is becoming accustomed to. It is comforting to know alternatives exist such as Facebook, Twitter and blog updates.

The presentation encouraged attendees to embrace the rise of social networks. Social networks have evolved from the church and alumni groups of the past and their new on-line presence has emboldened individuals and organizations to interact with others in a much more pervasive way.


Media is no longer a spectator sport, everyone is involved.

Social media sites can be categorized into three groups. They include:

  • Content creation sites
  • Social Networking Sites
  • Content Aggregation


How has your interest in social networking sites increased after the presentation by Mike?


My Thoughts on Pre-Conference Workshop A

July 15, 2008

Thanks to everyone who attended this morning’s workshop “Social Media 101:
How To Leverage The Use Of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, And Virtual Worlds To Change The Way Your Organization Collaborates, Communicates And Manages Intellectual Capital To Achieve Your Goals.”
Grant, Matt, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with all of you and (hopefully) answer some of your questions about social media.  I think some of the biggest themes that emerged this morning are:

  • How can I use social media to supplement/improve internal communications?
  • How can I use social media to supplement/improve external communications?
  • How do I pitch social media to my Legal department?
  • How can I get leadership buy-in?
  • What are some of the ways that other government agencies are using social media?

In this morning’s session, I think that we got some answers to these questions, but there’s SO much more that we could have discussed.  I realize that to some, the workshop may have seemed a little all over the place.  On the other hand, I know that some of you (if you’re like me), enjoyed the lively dialogue and fast-paced nature of the workshop. Personally, I wish that we would have been able to get more into the hands-on portion of the presentation so that we could have actually created a blog, a account, etc.

Although, this is exactly why I’ve set up this blog – I want to continue the discussion that we started this morning here in this virtual environment.

Do you have any questions that didn’t get answered?  Is there any material that you wish we had covered, but didn’t?  Do you want to know how to start using RSS feeds, or how to increase user adoption of a wiki?  If so, leave me a comment here, and I’ll make sure that we address it at some point in the next two days, either in one of the upcoming sessions or here on the blog itself.

See everyone in the morning!


Everyone’s Doing It…

July 13, 2008

Peer pressure isn’t just a tactic that teenagers use to get their friends to do stupid things (ask me about the time when, in a weak moment, I thought that I could be the only ones of my friends to jump my bike over a creek…it didn’t end well), it’s a tactic that I like to use when talking about social media, especially when speaking to my government clients.

Social Media can be very intimidating, especially for organizations who are typically resistant to change, and are very risk-averse.  Because social media can carry significant risks if not used correctly and because there isn’t a social media degree or certification upon which you can identify qualified people or organizations to implement social media, there’s a certain fear around using social media within government agencies.

  • What’s the best way to get started?
  • I don’t understand what all the buzz is about
  • Are there other examples of this being done successfully?
  • Nobody on my staff has the time or expertise to do this
  • What’s the benefit of using social media?
  • There’s too much risk and potential for something bad to happen

Here’s where peer pressure can be a good thing.  Guess what – everyone’s doing it [social media] already.  Take a look at this article that gives some really good examples of where the government has already incorporated social media into their strategies.  Make sure that you scroll all the way down to read the comments where even more examples and real-life success stories are being debated.  Another good resource to where else social media is being used successfully is – check out their list of government blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts and other social media.

So you see, there are others who are doing it, who are doing it successfully, and who are very willing to talk about how social media has worked/not worked for them.  So come on, everyone else is doing it – why don’t you give social media a try too?