Category Archives: Technology

Steal My Ideas

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I had a really lovely catch-up this week with a new friend Garry. He is a photographer and the local community guy over at Blurb. We spent a good couple hours talking about projects we wanted to work on, and ideas for projects that we wanted to do, but didn’t have time for. We also spent some time talking about those ideas for projects that we want someone else to do… seriously. Don’t you ever have ideas for big projects or businesses that you would love for someone just to pick up and run with? I secretly hope that if I pitch these ideas to enough people that I’ll plant in their head and they’ll just execute it for me. I suppose that’s not very likely.

Even the projects that we want to do ourselves, I think are best shared. Sometimes we’re scared to share ideas because someone might “steal” it from us.  Everyone who watched The Social Network is now walking around thinking that the next Mark Zuckerburg is going to launch a competitor website before you can. However I have to believe this is hardly the reality. We are often the ones who are most passionate about our ideas, and many times the idea itself is not so unique.

I want to share more of my ideas. I have found this to be very rewarding lately. I enjoy the feedback, and brainstorming element. I’m not sure what the limitations should be when sharing ideas with competitors, or maybe there shouldn’t be any.

Do you enjoy sharing ideas you have for projects or businesses? 

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Filed under Networking, Technology

What trends are you seeing today?

Going to local events with crowd-sourced talks such as TEDx and Ignite are a great way to understand current trends in our industries. Several key messages and themes tend to resurface during the talks, and it’s not because the speakers are unoriginal. They are just putting into words, what’s on the minds of many in this snapshot of time.

Just over a year ago, before I moved to Australia, everything was focused on the “real-time.” How we were using technology and social networks to interact instantly was the hot topic. This expanded beyond just marketing. Ideas of what personalised health care might look like when delivered in real-time were discussed.

At Ignite Sydney last year, a presenter shared on how Twitter was being used to find out where bush fires in Australia were breaking out. According to him, this was more accurate than any other type of monitoring technology available.

I’ve been seeing three key trends that I find interesting and want to highlight.

1. “Collaborative consumption is so hot right now”

I tweeted this half serious, half joking during Sydney Ignite 7. Lisa Fox presented “The Aussie guide to collaborative consumption,” a story of how everyday people are using online sites such as Open Shed, to rent and share items you might find in storage. Another talk by Darryl Nichols told the story of his project, the “Garage Sale Trail,” community focused yard sales across the country. October also celebrates Buy Nothing New Month and this idea of sharing, trading, renting and swapping is pretty fashionable at the moment.

2. Becoming a catalyst for change: Empower local leaders

If we want to be most helpful, perhaps we should look to empower local changemakers instead of trying to force change ourselves. This is the message that Aaron Tait, Executive Director of Spark* International gave during his TEDxMacquarieUniversity talk. Chantelle Baxter, co-founder of One Girl also explained how education can help empower young women and girls, so they can then lead change in their communities.

3. Social entrepreneurship and Gen-Y

Last year, I think we were scratching our heads trying to further define this “millennial generation.” Topics were about Gen-Y in the work force and how Gen-Y uses technology. While these discussions continue, now the focus has shifted to the power of Gen-Y. I love the number of young people who stood up and defined themselves in some way as social entrepreneurs. We are a driven generation who wants to give back and this was reflected in the speakers.

 Are you noticing these trends in your community as well? What topics are you finding relevant and popular in today’s society?

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Filed under Communications, Sydney, Technology

Becoming a Social Brand

How do you get others talking about you online?

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Having a presence in social media is starting to become the standard for companies. Creating a Twitter account for your organization won’t get you the same bonus points it did just a year ago.

Now consumers are focused on the companies that not only are able to use the tools but also understand the power behind them. Being a social brand is not necessarily measured by your follower numbers. Social brands are driven by personality and connect with their networks on a more meaningful level.

When I think of social brands I think of brands you would not just recommend but actually go out of your way to endorse. I love recommending local restaurants that are active on social networks. They manage to stay at the top of my mind. I like talking about them because I know that someone who works there is reading what I’m saying and cares.

I’m betting a lot of my Columbus friends follow @jenisicecreams on Twitter – a great example of a social brand. They share pictures that others tweet of their ice cream, they respond when you both talk to them or about them. They have fun and sometimes randomly tweet “scoop scoop” just because they can. They not only engage but also have their own persona online.

I crave authenticity and originality from my brands and companies now. Running a contest where you have to retweet a message to win has been done many times. Brands that are thinking creatively stand out now. How can companies incorporate geolocation and mobile technology into a campaign?

My point is, just showing up isn’t enough anymore. What will you do to stand out?

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Filed under Communications, Technology

It’s Happening: FutureMidwest

A couple weeks ago I attended FutureMidwest a “technology and knowledge” conference held in Royal Oak, Michigan. They did a fantastic job with programming and the event overall. There were some short key lessons I wanted to share that I took away from the speakers.

Online integration forces listening. Tim Schaden, CEO of Fluency Media gave a presentation on the importance of integration in improving your listening and overall communication. He encouraged all channels, services, agencies and internal teams to work together. This is something that I think is overlooked in many companies. Do you really need ten different Twitter accounts run by each department?

Blagica Bottigliero shared the importance of community building and also reminded me of the power in story telling. Her talk about the Gal’s Guide was filled with emotion and passion. She was able to share the story of the site by telling several shorter stories from her life and past experiences. I think that I need to start focus more on storytelling in my speeches.

Social media is forcing PR back to its roots. — Beth Harte of Serengeti Communications, gave a presentation focused on how to integrate “people relations” into online public relations, marketing communications and social media strategies. Beth encouraged PR pros to know ROI because this not just a practice for marketers. Also, ask yourself the question – how do these tactics help my strategies. If you can can’t answer that your campaign is a waste of time and money.

Ken Burbary who is the Head of the Digital Strategy and Social Media practice at Ernst & Young gave a killer presentation on monitoring online analytics. I really couldn’t even begin to do his preso justice in such a short recap so instead it out on slideshare.

A large part of this conference was also focused on the revitalization of the Detroit community through not only technology but a united community. The messages of bringing Detroit back to a level of respect that it deserves reminded me a lot of my hometown, the lovely Cleveland. I’m not trying to say the cities are in the same situation, but I still related to what these leaders were trying to accomplish for the Detroit neighborhood.

This video will give you a better idea of what I’m trying to convey. They played it before the Friday night keynote speaker. I got chills and again, I’m not even from Detroit. Again, totally awesome conference – hope next year it can expand to truly encompass more of the Midwest scene. This conference could turn into something even bigger than originally imagined.

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Filed under Communications, Technology