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Category Archives: ASU

Podcasting kicks in at GreenNurture

I’m a big fan of podcasting, as most of you readers probably know.

I’ve talked about it, written about it, been on BlogTalk Radio, and experimented with other similar formats such as iPadio. Along the way I produced some as well, starting with podcasts for ASU’s Decision Theaterfound here, or at iTunes

Trouble is, I have not taken time to put them all in one place –something I will get to shortly. (Yeah right, that’s if the cobbler’s children syndrome doesn’t kick in!)

So I am excited to be able to do it at this venue, for GreenNurture. We call them Nurturecasts, and we just launched the series, starting today.

Armed with a much-recommended ZoomH4N (that tends to look a friendly as a Taser, and upset a few TSA folk in airports), I’ve started on a series of podcasts for Public Radius as well.

Here is where to find them.

 

Digidorm could ruffle feathers!

The idea of sharing in a 21st century university is a given. Terms like collaboration, cross-disciplinary, interactive get thrown around. The Open-source movement has also crept into class-room and curricular initiatives.

But what might happen when you take this to its logical conclusion, and invite participation and sharing at a different level? That’s what Digidorm is all about. A sort of a social network for colleges. I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that what Facebook was all about in its early days? It hopes to be more, engaging anyone in the education space –enrolled students, alumni, faculty, parents, employees, and even high school students.

Digidorm intends to tap into the culture and vitality of college life and the communities that sustain any college, mashing up knowledge, providing writing tips, and library info, and college applications.

Digidorm is a bold idea by James Palazzolo, formerlyof ASU. Bold because it compiles some 3000 universities and allows anyone -who registers– to publish writing, video, photographs, and documents.

Interestingly, James did his master’s degree at ASU on this topic, and has the chops to make this work. I’ve known him for years as someone always involved in collaboration and sharing, from wikis to text messaging (before the Virginia Tech incident forced every college to go this route) to live blogging.

Will it ruffle feathers? I can expect this for several reasons.

  • Not only because of the content that will show up there, but because it could become the defacto intranet for colleges that should have created this in the first place.
  • Being a third party space, it will be out of the range of those who must manage a college’s (or an individual’s) reputation. How will a professor dispute an inaccuracy? How could parents request a takedown of an embarrassing photo of a child?

Already people who are trying to cope with keeping tabs on a school’s image (that show up in Facebook posts, videos on YouTube, tweets and vlogs) have their hands full. Digidorm adds one more headache -or opportunity, depending on how you approach it.

CHECK THIS: video that explains how to get started with a contribution.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Arizona, ASU, Best Practices, Education, New Media

 

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Goodbye, ASU. Hello Public Radius!

Today is my last day at ASU’s Decision Theater. Taking some time off to pursue some very exciting opportunities that have come up.

PublicRadius_logoThis includes starting out my own consulting practice, Public Radius that is in soft launch mode.

Public Radius is all about helping organizations resize their  circle of influence. Individuals and organiztions have a defined radius. But defined does not have to be fixed.

Can we bridge the gaps between physical and digital networks? Certainly! Some of us do it unconsciously. Some of us do it strategically.

Generating ‘dotted lines’ between these circles of influence is what Public Radius is all about. You will hear more about this shortly!

 
 

Losing sleep over keyword ranking?

I recently met Chase Granberry, the founder of Authority Labs. His company is competing in the SEO space — in a business category known as ‘rank monitoring.’

What’s that,” I asked.

It’s all about knowing how your web site ranks relevant to how people use keywords, he said.

“Competitive intelligence” in other words?

It’s also about usability, too, he reminded me. Are people finding what they need on your web site?

Competitive intelligence gathering is not something many of us do on a day-to-day basis. What I found interesting is how this kind of monitoring and optimization could be done by the rest of us –and not just the chaps in IT or a back office in Mumbai.

Granberry told me that his users range from bloggers to agencies PR types, to the web team. Why? Because people are getting more conscious about keywords, and are creating content aware of the way Google, Internet Explorer, Yahoo and Bing are indexing it.  PR and Interactive agencies are using the service to analyze the data and report back to their clients, he says.

“You mean the average PR person can actually understand this stuff?”

I took a peek at some of these reports, expecting to see a lot of geeky stuff. But they were really clean and well coded (up and down arrows to show a change in ranking against the previous day etc).

How do organizations spend on something like this in a downturn, I asked.

They need to think of search engine optimization as a A_Labs_ASUDTlong-term investment he said. Especially for those who seek ROI in terms of increased traffic and conversions. He mentioned ‘continued insight’ too, and it brought to mind recent cases of how lack of monitoring resulted in PR disasters such as this and this.

We increasingly hear how dangerous it can be when  PR and Comms take its eye off the ball. Competitive intelligence monitoring is like putting matchsticks between your eyelids and staying alert

There’s a free account if you want to give it a try.

 

Teaching in a 2.0 world

I meet a lot of lecturers and researchers in my job, because they are all using advanced modeling and scientific tools to engage students and look at knowledge in new dimensions.

I also meet a lot of high school teachers who are family friends and professional colleagues. It’s impossible to miss the big shift happening in the classroom, no different from the big changes going on in PR agencies or marketing departments. At the risk of over-simplifying things,what’s going on is the decentralization of knowledge, and the loss of control. In a good way, that is, when it refers to the classroom.

This presentation best illustrates what I am talking about. Via Devon Adams, who’s Teacher 2.0 approach best illustrates this shift.

If you can’t see the video above, click here

 

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Quotes for the week ending June 13, 2009

“Authentic communication is the new requirement, a paradigm shift has already happened, and most companies and communicators haven’t made the shift.”

Barbara Gibson, in her last post (The Last Hurrah) as outgoing IABC chair.

“that onerous system of checks and rewrites and hand wringing where legions of non-writers add their personal stamp to a piece of communication … to the point of unreadability.”

Steve Crescenzo, citing one of the two biggest obstacles to effective internal comms. The other is an overzealous IT Team.

“Twitter Tees brings community-powered t-shirt design to Twitter.

Threadless, which launched a way for Twitter users to vote on 4 T shirts with tweets that include “in space, no one can hear you tweeet” and “140 is the new 420″

“He’s the most … trollish person I’ve ever worked with!”

Leo Laporte, after cutting off Tech Crunch’s Mike Arrington, who suggested that Laporte had received a free Palm Pre.

“Did I really want to tell the world that I was out of town? Because the card in my camera automatically added location data to my photos, anyone who cared to look at my Flickr page could see my computers, my spendy bicycle, and my large flatscreen TV all pinpointed on an online photo map.”

Israel Hyman of Arizona, who claims his house may have been robbed because of his Twitter updates.

“We got the cure for Search Overload Syndrome.”

Microsoft Bing copy, on Facebook

“Every three years, the world completely changes, which makes strategic planning difficult. But while you can’t predict a future, you can prepare yourself for multiple futures.”

Mike Curran, the unofficial jobs guru of Silicon Calley, who is retiring after 23 years as director of NOVA

“we forgot the relationship part of public relations”

Lee Hopkins (@leehopkins) tweeting at the #IABC09 conference in San Francisco this week

“Although the pandemic appears to have moderate severity in comparatively well-off countries, it is prudent to anticipate a bleaker picture…”

Dr Margaret Chan, Dir Gen of World Health Organization, on raising the global pandemic level to Level 6

“a high-stakes poker game”

Former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson, on North Korea sentencing of two US journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee

 

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Word map your tweets and learn from it!

Did you know you can log in to your Twitter account via Tweetstats, and create a word cloud of just your posts? After this  previous post I wondered. Could a word map be useful, apart from its eye-candy appeal?

WordCloud_Mytweets_3_May09

As those of us who took part in this exercise begin compiling a report of our social media coverage, I realized that this could be another way to create a snapshot of each team member’s activity. But besides that, I can see a few other uses:

  1. It can be used to compare two different events that have something in common –say two consecutive lectures, two conferences, to compare the buzz that speakers generate.
  2. Or to take it to a macro level, we could track  hash tags  in relation to a particular brand attribute, and map it over consecutive weeks. This will give a brand manager better understanding how that attribute is being received 0r rejected in the twittersphere.
  3. We can they overlay it with other analytics using a service such as Buzzgain or Crawdad, and see the effect from multiple angles.
  4. We could the word map from one event to set a target for a similar event. In the above example, the words “thanks” and “news” add not value, and probably were a waste of characters given the 140 limitation.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in ASU, Blog, Communications, Twitter

 

What did Obama’s speech at ASU ‘look’ like?

Think of this as a post about the deeper side of  “just words.”

I love tag clouds and word maps. Maybe it is because we deal with visualization quite a bit at the Decision Theater. Last week I ran president Obama’s speech –the one he delivered to Arizona State University graduates– through tagcrowd, and it showed up some interesting emphases. Since we Comms folk at ASU covered the event quite a bit, it threw some new light on the speech.

Check it out here:ObamaSpeech_ASUGrad09_WordCloud

So now, here’s another look at that speech, this time the word cloud is generated through Wordle. The dynamic map is here, too.

ObamaSpeech_ASUGrad09_Wordle

 

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Quotes for the week ending 16 May, 2009

“I’m OK.”

Roxana Saberi, Iranian-American journalist who reported for NPR, who was freed from Iranian prison this week.

“But the president I worked for always wanted it short. He thought about people sitting in the audience on a hot day…”

Mark Salter, who has written commencement speeches for Senator John McCain, commeiting on on what president Obama’s speech at Arizona State University would be like.

“It was a shock … we knew the list was coming, but we didn’t think we would be on it.”

Regina Alexander, whose parents own a Chrysler dealership, on the news of the closure of five Arizona dealerships.

 

Obama’s ‘Body of work’ speech gags critics

This video is worth watching, if only to see how the president of the United States put an overblown media controversy to rest –giving that phrase a new context, now.

For those not familiar with this flap, ASU had not intended to give the president an honorary degree –an old college custom lavished on commencement speakers. It was a policy that had been in place for years. But a statement by the university raised the ire of some, exacerbated by media chatter. The statement had the phrase “his body of work is yet to come” and attracted headline such as “ASU stiffs Obama.”

ASU didn’t change its policy; it created 2000 ‘Obama Scholarships’ instead.

So it was interesting to see the pres weave in that phrase many times, to take it to a different level. In the vein of any parent, any teacher that tells a young person ‘you never stop learning,’ and ‘don’t sit on your laurels…’ he stressed sacrifice and finding greatness that lies within. “Don’t stop adding to your body of work!”

The entire speech is here.

 

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