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More Tips on Blog Subscriptions November 13, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter, web 2.0.
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As promised this is a continuance of “Attracting Blog Subscriptions” highlighting other functions and features of Feedburner.  Today we’re spreading the news of your blog  (and if you attended my recent seminar Web 2.0 tools for the construction industry or one of my Social Media on a Shoestring Budget workshops , this is a homework assignment).  If you have a few subscribers, why not make it easy for them to share it with the friends and co-workers?  You can do that easily giving them options to email it or share it on Facebook.  The tool is called FeedFlare and it’s found under the optimize tab: feedflare1

This gives the viewer of your blog feed or site an opportunity to pass it along, make it more popular with Digg and spread your message.  Once you choose FeedFlare, select the options you want for your feed or site and it will show you what it will look like to your readers:

feedflare2You can reorder the choices you selected by dragging the Share on Facebook or Digg it hyperlinks using drag-n-drop. You’re done when you hit SAVE. 

The next time your feed goes out, all your subscribers will have these choices to share and you will reap the rewards! 

There is also a FeedFlare catalog of other choices to add including english to spanish translations, adding links to your favorite charity, event promotions and Map It
(to Link to a web mapping service display for feed items that have location context associated with them). 

Go ahead and experiment. Try out FeedFlare and let me know about your success.  We love your comments.

Oh, and since you read the whole blog post, you can add a follow me on twitter flare with these instructions from HyveUp

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I’ve been Beta’d by Twitter November 11, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter, web 2.0.
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I was pleased to see a notification this morning on my Twitter account that I believe will be valuable to all the listeners in the Twitterverse.  Here’s a screen shot of the Retweet To Share Tweets (Beta):RetweetToShareTweets

I think Twitter got this one right.  If I want to know what my followers are really interested in, it should be their retweets.  After all it is a call to action for their own followers and represents the groundswell of our followers reach too.  What better way to understand the value of content than from our followers.  This is a keeper as far as I’m concerned.  Now will this feature be incorporated into some of the popular aggregators like TweetDeck?  How do you decide when to retweet?

Attracting Blog Subscriptions November 6, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, email, web 2.0.
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It’s a funny thing how everyone has a blog but most have a dozen subscribers if that.  In business you need to publicize your blog everywhere.  I tried promoting it via a plain hyperlink in my email signature but no one clicked on it…that is until I made it an animated subscription.  My email  signature now automatically cycles through the last five posts.  Every email recipient has the opportunity to see the topics I’ve recently discussed and decide then & there whether it interests them.  How’d I do it?  It’s easy…

  1. First Sign-up for Google Feedburner and enter your blog’s information (title, original address aemailblogsignnd new feedburner address). and save your feed details.  Don’t worry, this is free. 
  2. Click on the Publicize tab.
  3. Select the Headline Animator.
  4. Select email signature.
  5. From the dropdown, choose email signature and click next
  6. Follow the instructions in the pop-up based upon your email service.  It’s available for Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook 2003, Yahoo Mail and has workarounds for Gmail and Apple Mail too.

There’s plenty of other great features to help you with optimization and publicizing your blog with Feedburner.  I’ll make this a series of how to’s for the next few weeks.  If the construction industry starts using collaboration 2.0 (aka social media) for marketing and communication, for sure they will want to learn all these blog tips. 

Share your success with us.  We like to hear from our readers!

Social Media Challenges in Business Similar to Early Internet Adoption October 30, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in communication, twitter, web 2.0.
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Here we are 40 years after the Internet was first used to send a message and business is repeating history with their adoption rates to new technologies. 

From a Robert Half Technology Survey and mentioned in Stowe Boyd’s blog post Enterprises Block Social Networks, 54% of US companies with over 100 employees have completely blocked sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.  At the same time, analysts at Gartner are telling IT managers, Loosen up on social networks, security.   These opposing views remind me of the early years of the Internet.  You could walk into a business in the early 1980’s with a dozen PCs and one of them was not connected to the network.  That lone PC was connected to the internet, but it wasn’t safe to have the entire office on-line.  The reasoning was that some hacker could break in and steal all your accounting data and the employees would spend all their time surfing the net rather than working.  

This battlecry has reared it’s head in the business world with Social Media as “someone might say something negative about us.  We don’t trust our employees to work during working hours.  Lock it down.  Turn it off!”   The control must be kept by the CIO or communications director, and our lawyer and HR department are ready to reprimand any employee that crosses the line.  Oops, only 30% of business have a social media policy.   You can get help with social media and email policy from my earlier blog post Email Records retention Can Be Tricky.

This fear of social networking will handcuff the enterprise while competitors will leapfrog ahead.  If you don’t trust your employees with some responsibility, why did you hire them?  As Paul Proctor, a VP at Gartner says, “You cannot protect yourself from everything. You must learn to balance risk and performance.”  AIIM has gathered a number of statistics from surveys and research that help to explain the current state and where we are heading.   Here’s just a snippet to share:

Over half of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success.  Only 25% are actually doing anything about it, but this is up from 13% in 2008.  Knowledge-sharing, collaboration and responsiveness are considered the biggest drivers.  Lack of understanding, corporate culture and cost are the biggest impediments.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the business leader.  They hear the word social and think of twittering “I’ll meet you at the pub after work”.  The word social needs to be replaced with business  collaboration when you bring the discussion from the IT department to the Board of Directors.    The real questions that business should be focusing on are:

  • How can we harness “collaborative” networks to improve communications, knowlege sharing, marketing efforts, etc?
  • Should our deployments be internal or external? 
  • Have we developed our business strategy to include these technologies?

There are numerous business reasons to embrace Social Media including public relations, brand building, lead generation, crisis management and search engine optimization.  Now that Twitter has deals with Bing and Google, to crawl the twitterverse,  I suspect a few more firms will be appointing a “corporate twitterer”.    You want to be planning now as I read in the Social Computing Journal , Nielsen Norman Group estimates “a timeline of approximately three to five years for most organizations to successfully adopt and integrate social technologies into their intranets.”  Better shake a leg.

Can Web 2.0 and Social Networks Find You Employment? July 29, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software.
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Last night I spoke at the NAWIC Greater Phoenix Chapter 98 on “Web 2.0, LinkedIn & Social Networking: How to Get Noticed & Hired off the Net”.  This is an educational opportunity that I will offer via webinars in the near future. I found that many have been attempting to use the popular social networks but the approach has been haphazard. 

When you lose your job, many of you fall off the radar.  Our contacts only have a business email and office phone number.  If they think of you  but don’t know how to reach you, your network is useless.   (If you didn’t grab a copy of your PST files from Outlook at work you don’t have all your contacts’ emails either). It was apparent that this struck a chord with the audience.  Discussion immediately ensued about how people can find you, identity theft issues with public profiles,  and  account settings to secure your profile details.

There was also a buzz when I began to tweet about Twitter.   The perception from the over 40 crowd was Twitter was a bunch of junk and a waste of time.  This is a common reaction, but the 20-30  somethings have managed to find a tool that drives traffic, initiates conversations and connects followers and new people to be following.

For business, I find LinkedIn the preferred choice for making connections and there are statistics that bear this out.  But why has this been the chosen business social network?  Strategic planning, focus and tools.  Ask your Human Resource Department or a recruiter where they hang out and then ask them why it’s LinkedIn. 

My final thought today is what Web 2.0 is all about…how do you participate in “the conversation”?  Some of us are good listeners, others love to speak, lots of us just find things interesting, and many like to help others.  Then there is the professional joiner who likes to speak, listen, and help others.  We are all a mixture of talents and passions who love to be social. 

It is clear strategies that can make an impact, showcase your talents, and project your affinity to change.  So embrace web 2.0 technology, use it  to your advantage.

If you are interested in attending a future webinar on this topic, please let me know via LinkedIn.

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