Tag Archives: social media

Taking up ProBlogger’s 7-link challenge

7-link challengeFour days ago, ProBlogger Darren Rowse challenged fellow bloggers to publish a post based on the following seven themes.  Hooked by the idea, I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.  Then I read Darren’s own seven-link post.  If you don’t already know, Darren is a highly successful blogger, speaker consultant and founder of several blog networks and blogs, including ProBlogger, which features tips on blogging.  His Wikipedia entry notes that “as of 22 May 2009, Problogger was listed as number two on Technorati’s most favorited blogs list and number 40 on the most linked to blog.”

I reconsidered my participation in the challenge. It seemed audacious to hoist my hand — I’ve only been blogging for five months. However, the whole point of the exercise is to learn by doing.  So, here’s my contribution.

  1. My first post: Go slow, just don’t stop.  The date was March 6, 2010.  I shared how I was setting out on a brand new course in life, to learn to apply social media, out of my job and comfort zone, and how I planned to research and learn from the best, using the blog to distill and demonstrate my findings as I go.  I wrote:   Step four is harder—where to go online?  It’s a bit like entering a packed exhibition hall or a Saturday-morning market, full of noise, bright colours and lights, a sea of rows/directions. I didn’t mention how anxious I get in crowds!
  2. A post I enjoyed writing the most: The not-so-obvious: visiting the Shrute farm and learning to blog.  Writing this post was fun, inspired by a Consumerist news item tied to the TV program, the Office.  Newcomers to social media can feel like outsiders.  As I wrote in this post:   It’s just as easy to “not get” a key element or step when you’re learning to blog.   If you’re new to social media tools, the language that’s tossed around online, especially on discussion floors, can be confusing.  You’re there in your Walmart sneakers and they’re bouncing around in their spiffy Air Jordans. Continue reading
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Put the beef into your social media identity

Put the beef in your social media identity

Photo by Karen Runtz

Think about the volume of email you create or respond to.  What if every one of those messages had links to your social networking profiles.  Connecting your email signature with your social media identity is a great marketing tool, especially if you customize by audience.

I mentioned the Social Media Examiner as a great resource in my last post: 11 voices worth listening to.  One of their new posts talks about the top six mistakes in social media and how to fix them.

Mistake #2 is “hiding your social media presence”.  The writer, Kristi Hines, shows simple ways of promoting social networking profiles by displaying them on websites and business cards, as a signature in forums and through social links in email.

My eyes were pulled to the clean but effective email example shown.  My email signature already had a link to my WordPress blog but compared to Kristi’s example, my signature block was an Angus burger without the beef (or the equivalent for my vegetarian friends).

That’s now changed.  I’m happy to have a much meatier signature that shows my social media connections as well as an RSS link to my latest blog post.  I’m leaving it “basic black” for now, but I can accessorize as I want.  I’ll be adding the coordinates for my Facebook page, for instance, once it’s done.

Karen's email signature

Karen's email signature

WiseStamp is a free add-on for Firefox, Google chrome and works with any webmail service such as Gmail, yahoo, aol and  hotmail.  Their website notes that set ups for Safarai and Mac are coming soon and that they’re “working hard” to expand WiseStamp into other browsers and email clients like Outlook.

To set up the signature you can either select one of the templates or follow the WYSIWYG editor to create your own, which is what I did.  One tip: if you want to add the RSS feed for your WordPress blog, you need to add the backslash and feed as in “/feed” to your blog address.

WiseStamp also allows you to add your signature to just about any webpage (as long as it supports HTML). Continue reading

11 voices worth listening to

Northern House Wren

photo by Roger D'Anjou

It’s 5 a.m. and the staccato bursts are making it impossible to sleep: tch tch tch tch tch tch TCHI… tch tch tch tch tch tch TCHI.  The tiny but loud Northern House Wrens have a young family in the tall bluebird house near my office but their voices seem to penetrate no matter where I am in the house.   The Chippewa Indians called this bird O-du-na-mis-sug-ud-da-we-shi, meaning big noise for its size! No kidding.

Since I started this blog in early March, I’ve discovered other voices that have become invaluable in my journey to learn and apply social media.  These voices I want to keep close by, as the tools and techniques for the channels change at a frequency that makes my head spin.  Some I follow through RSS feeds, others through Twitter, Facebook or a combination of these channels.

Blogging voices

  • The first of these voices is @timethief.  Clear, current and correct, her onecoolsitebloggingtips is one of the best resources for WordPress-hosted blogs.  I frequently revisit her posts, like the recent three-part series on changing themes, as new needs arise.   My second blog is now in progress using Cutline and I’ve suggested a friend check out the Structure theme to improve the look and feel of her web site.
  • Both Darren Rowse at ProBlogger and Brian Clark at CopyBlogger can be counted on for great blogging tips. Continue reading

The not-so-obvious: visiting the Schrute farm and learning to blog

Schrute Farm

Schrute Farm

As reported on the Consumerist today, someone actually wanted to book a vacation at Schrute farms, the farm/inn mentioned on episodes of The Office.  Wasn’t me. I swear it.  Could have been, though!

The obvious isn’t always so.

Some of us are gullible natural believers. Or, sometimes, we miss a word, a sentence, a step.

The Stouffer’s Bistro Baja Grilled Chicken melt called out to me from my freezer today. Ripping it open, I went looking for the microwave temp and time. That’s when I saw the instructions for folding the box into a platform.  The food, you see, is to sit on the part with the special coating. Oh. Too late for my mangled piece of cardboard.

It’s just as easy to “not get” a key element or step when you’re learning to blog. If you’re new to social media tools, the language that’s tossed around online, especially on discussion floors, can be confusing. You’re there in your Walmart sneakers and they’re bouncing around in their spiffy Air Jordans.

Continue reading

Go slow, just don't stop

turtle photo by Audrey Michael

photo by Audrey Michael

It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.

That saying–from Confucius, who else!–is going to be my mantra as I reinvent myself, out of a job and my comfort zone.

I will learn how to use social media so I can advise businesses in turn how they can use these channels to be successful.

No biggie, right. WRONG. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. It excites and terrifies me at the same time. I love what it enables but I’m in misery trying to use it. Don’t let anyone change my computer or TV settings—I may never get them back again.  I don’t even own a cell phone or a PDA.

And yet I developed and managed a very successful intranet for a very large crown corporation and as a regular presenter at conferences, advised many other communicators on intranet strategy and best practices, including usability and how it contributes to the bottom line.

What’s behind all this

For 21 years I was a very successful communicator loving my work at Canada Post. Then came the job cuts, including mine. I didn’t expect it. Who does.

Continue reading