trinetizen

on media, tech, design and other stuff

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Name: Julian Matthews
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hi. I'm a former journalist and Malaysian correspondent to CNet, ZDnet, Newsbytes (Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive wire agency), Nikkei Electronics Asia and AsiaBizTech.com. I also previously contributed to The Star, The Edge, The New Straits Times, The New Zealand Herald and various magazines. Currently, I train and advise managers and executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach customers. My company, Trinetizen Media, runs media training workshops on social media, media relations, investor relations, corporate blogging, podcasting, multimedia marketing, online advertising, multimedia journalism and crisis communications. You can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Monday, July 13, 2009

10 step guide to social networks

This is an oldie but goodie from Cynthia Medina at Amadeus University:

The top 10 things we recommend to do before implementing a social network.

1. MANAGEMENT TRAINING: Have your management staff attend a Web 2.0 awareness training that describes social networks, blog, wikis, discussion boards, and social bookmarking. If management understands the differences between these technologies, it will be easier to determine whether you really need a social network.

2. STAFF TRAINING: After you determine you want to implement a social network, have the entire staff attend the same training your management staff attended. It’s only fair they understand this as well since they will be the ones using it, right?

3.SPOT CHAMPIONS: Observe which of your staff members really get excited about these changes. You will need some ambassadors to drive the change in your organization, and these are usually the ones that like change or technology.

4. FORMULATE POLICY: Come up with a Social Network policy. Everyone should know exactly what can and cannot be posted. Also, include employee contributions in their annual objectives to help ensure they’ll contribute content.

5. START WITH FACEBOOK: Before investing in software, start with one of the top social networks. The best one to start with is Facebook, which allows businesses to create a business page that is available to all Facebook users as well as non-users.

6. START POSTING: After you create the business page, have your ambassadors post notes (”blog post” in Facebook terms), discussions, videos, pictures, etc., that are related to your business. They can also create groups of special interest that promote certain travel destinations or types of travelers. Get some more tips on what to post from our article “What’s all that Web 2.0 stuff?“

7. GROW THE TEAM: Allow your staff to also create their own personal Facebook page. This way they can network with your existing customers and get new ones. They can also become fans of your business page and help you promote your business.

8. APPOINT MODERATORS: Assign some of the staff to moderate your business page. You need to make sure that everything that gets posted on your page is in good taste and doesn’t harm your business. Having someone moderate the page and delete distasteful comments will keep your page clean.

9. SPREAD THE WORD: Include your Facebook business page URL in all communications sent to customers. The more people see it, the more they will remember it. Tell everyone you are on Facebook...this is seen as a positive thing.

10. QUALITY MATTERS: Use your business page to communicate your business news and promote your specials. The quantity and the quality of the content posted on your business page is very important. The more you post, the more people will come back. Again, quality is very important.

Do this for a year while using and analyzing the "Insight" reports that Facebook offers. You can track stats on page views, discussions, video plays and more, plus you can export the data. Use it to assess changes or enhancements you need to make on your business page or to help you in your decision making later on.

When the year is up, you’ll be a social network expert and will be able to make a better decision on whether to buy software or develop your own social network. You might even decide to continue with Facebook. There is nothing wrong with using a free service.

MORE.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Corporate guide to social media


(Credit: Venn diagram based on DespairWear T-shirt)

Joshua-Michele Ross has outlined a simple guide for employers and employees on use of social media tools:

SOCIAL WEB GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR EMPLOYERS(edited)

1. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Leaders should model the behavior they would like to see their employees take. A corollary to this rule: don't delegate social media to interns or people who can't possibly represent your culture and brand.

2. PERFORMANCE MATTERS, NOT PRODUCTIVITY. Build your policies around job performance, not fuzzy concerns about productivity. If your employees are using Facebook at work, they are also likely checking work email after dinner or at odd hours of the day. Don't ask them to give up the former if you expect them to continue the latter. If you have good performance measurements, playing the "lost productivity" card is a canard.

3. ENCOURAGE USE. Encourage employees to engage and interact with one another and with customers eg: Zappos

4. DON'T BLOCK SITE. Don't block your employees from any site that is already talking about your products or that you would like to see talking up your products (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on.). I have had many experiences sending instructional material to clients and having them tell me that they can't view the video or site at work. Enough said.

5. PROVIDE TRAINING. The social web is a cultural phenomenon; don't go there without a guide. Consider providing some form of education for your employees. You can use one of your own power-user employees or bring someone in - but get educated.

6. BEGIN FROM A POSITION OF TRUST. Most employees have common sense. Begin with a set of possibilities first (increasing awareness, improving customer service, gaining customer insight and so on) then draw up a list of worst-case scenarios (bad mouthing the company, inappropriate language, leaking IP, to name a few). Modify the guiding principles to help mitigate the risks you've identified.

Once you embrace having your employees participate in the social Web, give them a few basic guiding principles in how they conduct themselves. You can start with these:

SOCIAL WEB GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR EMPLOYEES

1. LISTEN BEFORE YOU TALK. Before entering any conversation, understand the context. Who are you speaking to? Is this a forum for "trolls and griefers?" Is there a good reason for you to join the conversation? If your answer is yes, then follow these rules of engagement:

2. SAY WHO YOU ARE. In responding to any work-related social media activities always disclose your work relationship.

3. SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY. You weren't hired to be an automaton. Be conversational while remaining professional. If your personal life is one that you (or your employer) don't want to mix up with your work, then consider establishing both private and public profiles, with appropriate sharing settings.

4. RESPOND TO IDEAS NOT TO PEOPLE. In the context of business, always argue over ideas not personalities. Don't question motives but stay focused on the merit of ideas.

5. KNOW YOUR FACTS AND CITE SOURCES. When making claims, always refer to your sources, using hyperlinks when possible. Always give proper attribution (by linkbacks, public mentions, re-tweets and so on).

6. STAY ON RECORD. Everything you say can (and likely will) be used in the court of public opinion -- forever. So assume you're "on the record." Never say anything you wouldn't say to someone's face and in the presence of others. Never use profanity or demeaning language.

7. IF YOU RESPOND TO A PROBLEM, YOU OWN IT. If you become the point of contact for a customer or employee complaint, stay with it until it is resolved.


MORE.

Related:
7 Golden Rules of Social Media
10 Golden Rules of Social Media
5 (then 17) Rules of Social Media Optimization
5 Pillars of Social Media Marketing
6 Social Media Myths

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crowdsourcing journalism: The Guardian way

From the Nieman Journalism Lab by Michael Andersen:


Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian’s (spectacular) expenses-scandal experiment

Okay, question time: Imagine you’re a major national newspaper whose crosstown archrival has somehow obtained two million pages of explosive documents that outed your country’s biggest political scandal of the decade. They’ve had a team of professional journalists on the job for a month, slamming out a string of blockbuster stories as they find them in their huge stack of secrets.

How do you catch up?

If you’re the Guardian of London, you wait for the associated public-records dump, shovel it all on your Web site next to a simple feedback interface and enlist more than 20,000 volunteers to help you find the needles in the haystack.

Your cost for the operation? One full week from a software developer, a few days’ help from others in his department, and £50 to rent temporary servers.

Journalism has been crowdsourced before, but it’s the scale of the Guardian’s project — 170,000 documents reviewed in the first 80 hours, thanks to a visitor participation rate of 56 percent — that’s breathtaking. We wanted the details, so I rang up the developer, Simon Willison, for his tips about deadline-driven software, the future of public records requests, and how a well-placed mugshot can make a blacked-out PDF feel like a detective story.



He actually offered SIX lessons. Here they are in a gist:

1. MAKE IT FUN. Willison lured the readers by making it feel like a game. The Guardian’s four-panel interface — “interesting,” “not interesting,” “interesting but known,” and “investigate this!” made categorization easy. And the progress bar on the project’s front page, immediately giving the community a goal to share. He added the Guardian’s mugshots of each MP to their pages in the database, which gave a personal element. “You’ve got this big smiling face looking at you while you’re digging through their expenses.”

2. MAKE IT COMPETITIVE. Willison posted lists of the top-performing volunteers. “Any time that you’re trying to get people to give you stuff, to do stuff for you, the most important thing is that people know that what they’re doing is having an effect. It’s kind of a fundamental tenet of social software. … If you’re not giving people the ‘I rock’ vibe, you’re not getting people to stick around.”

3. LAUNCH IMMEDIATELY. Before Parliament released its records Thursday, Willison’s team thought they might be able to postpone their launch to Friday if necessary. When they saw Thursday’s newsbroadcasts, they realized they’d been wrong. The country’s imagination was caught. “It became quickly clear on Thursday that it was a huge story, and if we failed to get it out on Thursday, we’d lose a lot of momentum."

4. USE A FRAMEWORK. Willison’s project was built on Django, the custom Web framework “for perfectionists with deadlines” that he and Adrian Holovaty created for the Lawrence Journal-World. Other frameworks and languages would have worked, too. “You absolutely could build this in Ruby on Rails or in PHP,” Willison said, but “as far as I’m concerned, this is absolutely Django’s sweet spot. This is absolutely what Django is designed to do. Once I had a designer and a client-side engineer working on the project, I could really just hand it over to them and I didn’t have to worry about the front-end code any more.”

5. HAVE SERVERS READY. As well as the Guardian’s first Django joint, this was its first project with EC2, the Amazon contract-hosting service beloved by startups for its low capital costs. Willison’s team knew they would get a huge burst of attention followed by a long, fading tail, so it wouldn’t make sense to prepare the Guardian’s own servers for the task. In any case, there wasn’t time. With EC2, the Guardian could order server time as needed, rapidly scaling it up for the launch date and down again afterward. Thanks to EC2, Willison guessed the Guardian’s full out-of-pocket cost for the whole project will be around £50.

6. SAVE COSTS. Willison used open-source, freely available software that anyone else who might want to imitate them could use.

MORE.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Twitter rules for journalists

Julie Posetti has posted a set of guidelines for journalists when using Twitter.

You will find some of these obvious and others contradictory and meaningless (be human, be honest but don't bitch about your workplace), but kudos for trying to frame Twitter in a context that some journalists can understand -- or choose to ignore.

Top 20 Take Away Tips for Tweeting Journos

1) Think before you tweet -- you can't delete an indiscreet tweet! (Well, you can, but it will survive in Twitter search for three months and it's likely live on as cached copy somewhere.)
2) Think carefully about what you're re-tweeting and acknowledge if it's unsubstantiated.
3) Be an active twit: tweet daily if you want your followers to stick.
4) Determine your Twitter identity.
5) Be human; be honest; be open; be active.
6) Don't lock your account if you want to use Twitter for reporting purposes -- this fosters distrust.
7) Twitter is a community, not just a one-way conversation or broadcast channel -- actively engage.
8) Check if your employer has a social media policy.
9) Be cautious when tweeting about your employer/workplace/colleagues.
10) Be a judicious follower -- don't be stingy but avoid following everyone as your list grows to avoid tweet bombardment.
11) If you quote a tweet, attribute it.
12) Expect your competitors to steal your leads if you tweet about them.
13) Don't tweet while angry or drunk.
14) Avoid racist, sexist, bigoted and otherwise offensive tweets and never abuse a follower.
15) Scrutinize crowdsourced stories closely.
16) Find people to follow. Foster followers by pilfering the lists of other twits.
17) Twitter is a 'time vampire' (via @anne_brand) -- you don't need to keep track of all tweets, so dip in and out through the day.
18) Prevent information overload by using an application such as Tweetdeck.
19) Add applications to your Internet-enabled mobile device to allow live-tweeting on the road.
20) Add value to your tweets with links, Twitpic and other applications for audio and video.


More.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to create a social media strategy

David Griner has outlined a simple strategy to kick off a social media initiative in this presentation.