#skechnotes Next Evolution in Communication: What Will Happen #sxsw #CommTech #wearables

Great Presentation at SxSW Interactive 2014 on The future of wearables and the impatient on communication with Christina Mercando, Koichi Yamamoto, Takahito Iguchi and Marco Tempest. Marco, love the magic! Christina, gotta have the ring! Takahito, looking forward to experiencing your discreet device. Wow! Impressive work that brings much thought to the future of wearables.

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Learning from our Kids

If you have ever had the opportunity to share your work with children you will understand the challenge, joy and inspiration of it. I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak to my daughter’s class during their module on “How we Organize Ourselves.” I realized as my daughter introduced me as “this is my Mum, Heidi, she works with computers,” that I had some explaining to do.


Providing a clear message that explained what I do, how I do it, and why was a fun challenge. I began by explaining my most challenging job to organize; motherhood and “family management”. I think I caught them off guard on that one, but that was part of the fun.


I then proceeded to draw a picture on the board of my process for teaching social strategy. I covered topics on understanding our stories, our networks, stake-holders, knowledge keepers, sharing knowledge, networking, strategy, knowledge sharing tools and visual communication.


I was pretty pleased with their engagement, until we came around to the final round of questions. “I thought you work with computers?” They asked.


“Computers, devices and apps are all important tools in the workplace no matter what our jobs,” I tried to explain. “My main job is helping people communicate with other people using these tools so they can do their jobs better and be happier.”


“Yeah, I get it. Like when I talk with my cousin in America on Skype, while we build stuff on Minecraft. Cool.” He said.


If only my clients all could get it so quickly. Maybe it takes a fourth grader to learn the most basic thing of all, the benefit of communicating and maintaining relationships.

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Learning Styles and Social Strategy

I made a promise to myself recently to be more true to that which I teach: the importance of learning, fun and visual communication. These are all elements of evolving as a social strategist. Searching for the best route to clarity: communicating complex concepts in easy to understand forms. Often when dealing with the global element of my work, verbal language and culture differences bring out the importance of seeking alternate approaches to achieving clarity. Read More

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Twitter for Event Promotion

Recently I have been asked to provide some twitter tips to event organizers that I advise. I thought it might be worthwhile sharing as this seems to be a common question.

First, Do you have a twitter id for your company? If so make sure you share it (widget for that at http://twitter.com/about/resources). If not, you should. Keep it short like @BEbiz (short for Big Event Business) so that it is easy to re-tweet (RT) – share and spread. That account should tweet updates on speakers booked, events or interviews leading up the event, relative events and content, live statements at the event, RT others tweets about the event and related issues and post event comments as well as content related to the topic and people involved. (It can also feed into your Facebook, Community and LinkedIn pages, if you have them.)

Next, make sure your event has a hash-tag (#) and that everyone knows about it. That way you (and participants) can track any tweets about it using the simple search functionality in twitter. For example, use #ABE11, short for A Big Event 2011. Post it on your site and place reminder in all communications to use the tag (as well as at the conference for live coverage).

Third, You can insert the feed from all tweets using the hash-tag (#ABE11) onto your website so that all conversations are tracked and shared. This is an easy widget that can be found at http://twitter.com/about/resources/widget

Fourth, be sure you get your presenters and sponsors twitter id’s, if they have them, and put them in the program. It helps those who are tweeting to assign content to the presenter. Each time you book a speaker is an opportunity to cross promote so be sure to share your twitter id and hashtags and make sure you “follow” them on twitter too. You might even create a list of your speakers in twitter so others can follow them.

And fifth, but VERY important. Make sure your venue has decent wifi coverage and that people know how to get on if there is a code. Test it too.

Good luck and enjoy. Remember to listen as well as tweet. True balance is from give and take. Nobody likes to follow a pure self-promoter. Keep it in context and off you go.

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#SxSW 2011 Social Media Offline

Ted Rubin said it well, as we sat for a coffee in the Hilton with the buzz of South by Southwest (#SxSW) moving around us. “South-by is like Social Media face to face.” Everyone had a twitter handle @ and a hash tag # to find them and what they do. Celebrities and influencers have “followers”, “friends” and “connections” visible in their entourages and their VIP access. The refueling stations were gathering spaces for re-caffeinating bodies and charging multiple devices. Contacts shared by the Bump App and new friends were made by bumping as you found space to sit for panels. There was an App for everything, predominantly for iOS and Android (Apple iPhone and Google’s development platforms). Those who didn’t have one were quick to add “coming soon!” in their pitch. The few lucky/patient who braved the cues at the temporary Apple Store downtown picked up the new iPad2. Those of us willing to wait were mostly from overseas, knowing that it would be a while before they reach our markets.


After nearly a week of intensive panels, networking and checking out what is new and coming in interactive, I am excited about the future. As in any trade conference, it is easy to get myopic. Is everyone as uber-connected as this gathering of industry professionals often referred to as “geek fest”? Essential to remember that in order to rise above the 8% of “active” social media and smart phone users there will need to be continued expansion and development of infrastructure, accessibility, internationalization, aggregation and filtering. Cultural implications for organizations, leadership, and education systems will require greater outreach, training and better user-interfaces for the non-technical. Communications is changing, the tools are developing and I am very optimistic about their direction as long as we improve design for those who are already technically un-inclined. The more social the tools become, the simpler the interfaces, the greater access to tools that work in different environments for wider needs and people the possibilities are boundless.


Here are some of my tweets from during the last few days in Austin at SxSW:


Fellow #sxswi delegates, Don’t forget to listen /measure outside of the bubble too, 92 still not active in social media/ smart phones


Don’t calculate the ROI of relationships, not rich enough data, use dashboards -@jenvandermeer #mroi #sxswi


Wall street- customer lifetime value is not something the street cares about @janvandermeer#sxswi #mroi


Thanks @jenvandermeer from @dachis for a very entertaining presentation on the ROI of relationships #mroi #sxswi


Great conversation with @globewomen, looking forward to a great #GSW11. Thanks Irene


Confirmed speaking at #GSW11 in Istanbul. Looking forward to more inspiring conversations in May.


Just first did my Skype video meeting on my #iPad2, followed by call with kids, paid for itself already 🙂


iPad 2 Shortages Hit Web & Retail Stores http://t.co/3H9J5TM via @mashabletech @mashable


Achieving net-neutrality requires consumers raising their voice, speak up! @~BarryDiller#SXSW


The Internet is a miracle @~BarryDiller #SXSW


Make the truth your weapon and your strength @ch3ryl #pplpwr #SXSW


Overcome Fear of showing of your authentic self. What if it freaks out the white people @ch3ryl# #SXSW #pplpwr


Great talking to @michaelblonde of @commondeeds definitely an App to follow! #SXSW


Self-definition: own your space, name it and be proud of it @funkybrownchick #pplpwr #SXSW


CPM should die -@Jasonfalls #smaroi #SXSW


Unless you married your spouse 3 minutes after meeting them, understand relationships take time @Jasonfalls #smaroi


even data that is infinitely measurable isn’t infinitely perfect. Must measure over time@Jasonfalls #smaroi #SXSW


Better measurement tools are the next big thing to come @Jasonfalls #smaroi #SXSW #swesxsw


@Jasonfalls monitoring the conversation, consider not everyone is online having conversations, ask your customers #SXSW #smaroi #swesxsw


Getting ready for first panel on measuring social media #sxsw #swesxsw #smaroi


Balance between friend and general recommendation, why of results are key #bettersearch #SXSW #swesxsw


Are we losing serendipity? #bettersearch #SXSW #swesxsw


privacy in social search; consider value-add, but need consent, control @barneyp#bettersearch #sxsw #swesxsw


Mood-based search for things to do. understanding intent for search w/Moodfish #bettersearch #sxsw #swesxsw


Simon alpha recommends, allows customization @barneyp #bettersearch #swesxsw #sxsw


Web-> social -> interest -> inferred interest graph @barneyp (Bing) on #bettersearch #swesxsw #sxsw


Google Hotpot integrating social/location/recommendations #better search #swesxsw #SXSW


@charleneli KLM during volcano, FB direct response realtime


Evolution from information to relationship economy – @debs #behuman #SXSW


Congratulations @pblackshaw ! You are going to love Vevey! Welcome to my side of the pond.


Without new social contract, trust is fragile – @debs #behuman #SXSW


Technology changes, humans don’t @debs #behuman #SXSW

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Did you mean what I heard?

Misunderstanding is common when we speak freely without forethought. I am referring not just to what we say, but how we say it and to whom we say it to. We are taught to treat others as we wish to be treated, but in actuality, we must treat them the way they wish to be treated. In the global social paradigm we cannot assume that words, phrases or context will translate. We need to know what we are talking about well enough to re-form it to our audience. Read More

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Opportunity in Miscommunication

I have often found opportunity in miscommunication. Perhaps this comes from the simple fact of being in a bi-cultural bi-lingual marriage. When in a relationship, we often forget to confirm that what we interpret is what is meant. This is the ultimate practice of listening without judgment. Having the luxury to assume that all communications carry with them the possibility of misused language, I often take the time to try to understand what is really being said and why. This has been hugely helpful in both my relationship with my spouse and my interactions with professional and personal peers. It is easy to have an emotional reaction. I do believe that most people’s intentions are good, even if there communications skills may need some work. Sometimes we do need to remember to simply breath.

It is not to say that I never miscommunicate. Quite the contrary. But one of the most generous gifts that one can give is the chance to undo a miscommunication to understand the true intent. So I thank you who take the time to listen and let me know when I am not communicating well.

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