Sunday, April 28, 2013

2 simple steps to innovation through learning from your audience

I recently helped to teach an online course called “Public Culture” at Royal Roads University. The incomparable Dr. Phillip Vannini, who I work with, was the professor, and the goals of the course were two-fold: teach the concepts and theories around cultural studies, and give the students real-world experience in popularizing academic research.

The projects were as varied as the students themselves, and it was delightful to watch their concepts come to life and help them learn about pitching, writing for mainstream audiences, video production, and turning academese into plain language.

I learned a few things from the students, too.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hot Topic: Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers in 2013

Who decides what influence is? Judging by the buzz on the interwebs, not Haydn Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy recently published a blog post on the Forbes website entitled “WhoAre The Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 2013?” sending tweeps and bloggers alike into a frenzy of disagreement.

JureKlepic over at the Huffington Post takes issue with Shaughnessy’s methodology – measuring influence solely on Twitter, he points out, ignores “the metrics of comments on their blogs, content quality and other social networks” - and the PeekAnalytics tool in general, arguing that it doesn’t measure influence at all. He offers a compelling counter-argument by pointing out the many people who were not included on the list, and I recommend you check his list out. Many of my personal favourites are there.

Mark Schaefer’s critique of the list was also oft-tweeted, and he, too, provides an alternate list of influential people in social media that the original list did not include, saying I have no idea how many Twitter followers these people have. But they have all accomplished something.”

Some, like ErikDeckers at probloggingservice took a softer approach, and of course the original Forbes post was tweeted many a time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4 things toddlers can teach us about professional communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw

This quote, long one of my favourites, ran through my mind this morning as I attempted to bundle my toddler up and get her out of the house. Not quite two years old, she still has only the most rudimentary grasp of language, and it’s often difficult to decipher her meaning.

“Guldk” she said, looking up at me with clear blue eyes. “GULDK” she insisted, those eyes showing the same mixture of frustration and annoyance I’ve so often seen around conference room tables during difficult conversations.