I created a digital strategy G+ Community

Google recently rolled out Communities. It’s like the old forums of the web 1.0 days (interesting how everyone keeps using Facebook Groups as the analogy). So far it looks great and not intrusive. You decide if you want to be notified of new posts. While all member posts can be seen in the community’s news feed, the posts can be categorized – perfect for searching. Of course, it’s up to whoever did the posting to bother categorizing. It also looks like this is a great way to improve your own SEO. All your posts show up on your G+ news feed. I’m safely assuming this only applies to public groups. It also looks like you have the option to share items to a community however not simultaneously with your circles. Anyway, there is a lot more for me to check out so I created a digital strategy G+ community. This is to talk about everything that goes into creating content for the digital world including content marketing, audio, video, design, user experience and risk management. I’m hoping to avoid the type of posts that talk about every little thing that happens in social media. There’s way too much of that going on and it only creates an infomration overload based on opinion and speculation. My goal with this digital strategy G+ community is to share practical information which other members can apply in their own work. Please consider joining and participating if you have a G+...

Risk management in content strategy

It has a been a while since I’ve blogged. That’s because I’ve recently started a new job! I’m in charge of all things web and social media at a children’s rehabilitation hospital in Toronto (see my LinkedIn profile for details). Part of my job involves assessing risk with whatever we do in social media. So I research everything from reading the terms of use to privacy policies. Not just “is it an appropriate tool for our audience?” Risk management is vital in content marketing. Take yesterday’s example (and blundering) of Instagram announcing changes to their usage policy. The gist of it was “we can sell your photos to anyone without paying you”. Big bru ha ha ensued all over the place and surprise, surprise, this morning it’s all “Oopsie! We unintentionally misworded our new terms. We didn’t mean what we wrote. Heh heh. It’s all good!” (was this all just a publicity stunt?). Anyhoo, my unbelief aside, always remember that when working with third parities (read: social networks) who offer their services for free (read: social networks): 1. Your company’s data (your personal data, too) is their product for making money 2. Third parties can disappear along with your data 3. Terms of use can always change at the drop of a hat 4. Read! Read! Read those terms of use. If you have a legal department, use them! That’s why they are there. And this is just one of the many, many, many variations of risk of which you must keep on top when working with...

I’ll be talking community building on 49Pixels Live

I’ll be on 49Pixels Live with my friend, Dr. Vibe, next week. Hosted by digital media and entrepreneur aficionados, Justin Kozuch and Lindsay Munro, 49Pixels Live is a weekly podcast about technology, digital marketing and entrepreneurship with guests who are industry experts, thought leaders and influential voices in digital media. Dr. Vibe and I will be talking about how we used digital media tools to build and empower our respective non-mainstream communities, stutterers and young black men. You can listen live on Tuesday, June 26th at 8:00pm EST at 49pixels.tv. It’s an interactive show so you will be able to send us your questions on Twitter by tweeting @49pixels or other options listed on their site (just underneath the about section). The broadcast will also be available for download as an episode of the 49 Pixels...

Hangouts are now on the air!

I’m really excited about the roll out of Hangouts On Air to everyone. Branded pages, too. With this option enabled, you can broadcast your G+ Hangout on YouTube and archive for later viewing. Of course, you’re able to also broadcast from your G+ stream and use embeddable code to broadcast from your website. This is a very big game changer Some tv news outlets have already been experimenting with Hangouts: As a podcaster, this immediately brings to mind a live studio audience. Those in your Hangout and, say, a twitter back channel. My friend and fellow podcaster, Dr. Vibe and I immediately jumped on trying things out as soon as we heard On Air was available to everyone. So how does it work? Naturally, you’ll need to have a YouTube account. For branded pages, I recommend a separate YouTube account. Please note that in order to have a recording of your hangout, you’ll need to verify your YouTube account via SMS, a one-time process. When you start a hangout, you’ll see a new option allowing you to “Enable Hangouts On Air”. Click it and once your Hangout window appears, you’ll notice something new at the top. Broadcast URLs for you to share and code to embed on the left of a big, red button to start the broadcast. Users get an eye catching notice before entering a Hangout that’s being broadcast. Note that users need to explicitly agree before being able to join. Nice touch, Google! Curiously, we were able to broadcast our Hangout via the embed link on Dr. Vibe’s website without pressing the Start Broadcast button. Mind...

11 G+ Hangout best practices

If you’ve had a chance to read my previous blog post introducing Google+ Hangouts, you’d know I’m a big fan of the free video conferencing feature of Google’s social network, Google+. Enticed to give a Hangout a try? With six months of Hangout participating and host experience with Stutter Social under my belt, I’m sharing my best practices of hanging out. 1. Turn off TVs, radios and other noise makers in the room Google engineers did a great job at filtering out background noise coming from each Hangout participant. However, it can’t filter out the tv in the background, other people in the room and those police sirens blaring through your window. As a curtesy to your Hangout mates, please ensure you’re in a quiet room. 2. Adjust yourself before entering the hangout We first see our own video when we are about to enter a hangout. This way, we can adjust our hair and such before entering. However, some users forget to adjust the location of their laptops. If you’re on your laptop and are using your internal mic but need to move your laptop around, please do so before entering. Your laptop’s internal mic picks up the noise of the moving around that you don’t hear on your end. It’s really loud in our ears at our end since we’re using headsets or earbuds. Mute your mic (and video would be good, too) if you need to adjust your laptop during a hangout. 3. Turn off your mic and/or video when speaking to a family member We have the ability to turn our mics and web cams...

Google Plus Hangouts: the interactive tv they were talking about back in the early 90s

In today’s word of social network overload and media buzz this and media buzz that, Google Plus‘ epically awesome Hangout feature has been further improving itself with new easy-to-use features and productivity tools. Even if you don’t have the need for “yet another” social network (seriously, G+ kicks Facebook any day. If only all my friends would jump ship), G+ Hangouts offer a great opportunity to connect with other people who share similar interests via video conferencing. I feel this is a much more natural way that us humans were made to interact with each other. While nothing will never, ever beat meeting in person and it’s a welcomed change from forum trolls and text-on-screen lacking emotional context and tone. Up to ten people can participate in a Hangout. And it doesn’t at all get confusing. You know when someone is done speaking and the Google user experience designers did a great job at making it easy for people not to speak over each other. You have a main view area and small thumbnails of everyone in the Hangout. The thumbnails are video! Not a static image of someone on a beach or someone’s wedding photo. The main view area simply shows you the video of whoever is currently speaking. It automatically switches to the next person who speaks. It is such a seamless experience that a few times I forget I’m in front of a screen and I point to people or point my face towards someone’s thumbnail as if we were all sitting at a restaurant table! And of course, being able to put an actual live...