What I’ve been reading

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Pinboard.

Bookmarks for August 11th through August 18th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for April 5th through April 10th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

  • Social Media Security – "We have found a huge lack of accurate information around security issues and awareness of social media. This website aims to help educate users of social media of the threats, risks and privacy concerns that go with using them."
  • E-government is not a financial cure-all – "Whoever is in charge after 6 May, I expect the drive towards "smarter government" (or whatever catch phrase replaces it) to continue. There are simply no other tools in the box. But whoever is in charge will avidly wish someone had made a bolder start while the going was good."
  • bantApp.com: Bant Diabetes Monitoring App for the iPhone and iPod Touch – Interesting iphone app for diabetes management, via @robertbrook
  • Two models of open innovation – "Based on our recent experience of working on open innovation projects, and also building upon a great paper by Kevin Boudreau and Karim Lakhani, we have concluded that there are two distinct ways of doing open innovation – creating competitive markets or collaborative communities"
  • Let government screw up – "I have the opportunity to speak to groups across government about the benefits, challenges and potential costs of social media. In the face of institutional anxiety, I’ve argued that social media is a positive environment that encourages experimentation. In fact, online users are willing to accept mis-steps and stumbles from government organizati0ns simply because it demonstrates initiative and ambition, if not expertise."
  • Project Spaces: A Format for Surfacing New Projects – home – "The event format I'm calling Project Spaces has emerged from working with various collaborators to facilitate events for communities actively engaged and committed to finding better ways to do things."
  • Can Open Office Escape From Under A Cloud? – "I do see a future for Open Office in the enterprise — one that’s closely tied to integration with collaboration, content management, and business processes and facilitated by the likes of Oracle and IBM."
  • A democratic view of social media behaviours – Interesting action research post from Catherine – plenty to chew on here.
  • Digital exclusion, porn and games – "I wonder if – as with mobile phones – there’s a certain, influential generation that see the technology as being more than just a technology. And instead, a marker for a whole way of life they just haven’t accepted yet."
  • Social media measurement – Great stuff from Stuart Bruce – debunking a few myths and some marketing BS.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Is your organisation an Apple or a Google?

Nice post from Steve Rubel, comparing the approach taken by two hugely innovative companies to engaging with their customers:

Google isn’t exactly known as the most transparent company in the world, but they’re light years ahead of Apple – a company that in some ways they share a kinship with when it comes to their reputation for innovation. Apple (or for that matter any big company) can learn a lot about radical transparency, customer service and PR from Google, even though they’re hardly perfect here.

The post is worth reading in full as Rubel analyses some of the good stuff that Google does (open about improvements to their products and lots of blogs) – and compares it to the lack of such activity by Apple.

I dare say that many public sector organisations are behind even Apple in this regard. Would you even want to be as open as Google about this sort of stuff? My view would be yes, but I would imagine that the idea would scare a lot of folk to death!

On the Social Media Release

One of the many areas of communications which can be improved by using social media services is the press release. Indeed, there are a number of sites dedicated to creating a ‘social media release’, including a group blog and a wiki.

Brian Solis recently put together a really useful post: “The Definitive Guide to Social Media Releases” which contains tonnes of information about the whys and wherefores of this development of a traditional communication tool.

Obviously a Social Media Release needs to feature Social Media ingredients, which includes links to bookmarking networks, contextual tags, the ability to track and host conversations, and also discover them within social networks. The inclusion of new features to simply make a fancy, shiny, new whiz bang press release doesn’t necessarily cut it.

So, what socializes a release?

A Social Media Release should contain everything necessary to share and discover a story in a way that is complementary to your original intent; but, the difference is, how they find it and the tools they use to share and broadcast.

This begs the question: what is a social media release? Well, it is an online interactive document that puts out a message in such a way that it is conversational, using online tools to enable people to add to the discussion as well as just read the message.

Todd Defren has identified four key features of what a social media release does that a traditional one doesn’t:

  1. Ensure accuracy
  2. Embrace context
  3. Build community
  4. Be findable

In other words, a social media release puts you in control of what’s being said about your release by ensuring your content is a part of the conversation around it.

How can this be achieved? By putting together an electronic press release that incorporates social media services which can have a useful and viral effect on the story you are telling. So, photos on the release are posted and linked back to Flickr, you can embed videos hosted at YouTube, related stories can be saved on del.icio.us – and all of these linked together through a common tag. This tag can then be used to locate and present feedback on the release, so people can find out what is being said without having to look for it. Use links to enable people to share the release on Digg, Reddit , StumbleUpon and other sites to help spread the word.

What does one look like? Try this example from Ford, thy are using Flickr, YouTube, a growing list of related blog posts and the ubiquitous buttons to share the release on various social bookmarking sites. Or there is Cisco’s effort, which includes a YouTube group, del.icio.us and Digg and even Second Life (thanks to Shel Holtz for both of these examples). Shift Communications have a PDF template that you can adapt.

One point that is worth making is that (for now at least) the social media release does not replace the traditional press release. Instead, it offers an alternative for those that are actively engaged in this space. It also provides a richer experience for those that use it, and so in time people will begin to prefer it as they see its advantages. So, it offers an additional service rather than a replacement, and given the low costs and barriers to entry when it comes to this stuff, it really won’t cost you a great deal more to do – and if it engages just a few more people with your message, then surely it’s worth it?