The Amazing Technicolour Self Directed Learning Tool

Yesterday I published a post asking for help from you all to help me develop a Personal and Self Directed Learning Tool. Thank you to those of you who have contributed stuff so far. Today i was making it look a bit better than a simple black and white hand out.

Whilst I was searching for inspiration on the look and feel, I found the Conversation Prism developed by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas, a picture of which is below and the picture will take you to their website which they have developed. I remembered seeing an early version of this back in 2008, it has evolved quite a bit and looks amazing if you ask me.

Now I’m not trying to re-create this directly  – As i’m really after creating more of a subset or alternative viewpoint aimed in particular at Public Sector employees to support their personal and self directed learning. However I have to give credit to Brian and Jesse for the idea and inspiration as I obviously can’t claim what I have done is original, but more of an adaptation. (I’d love to know what software package was used to create the prism as I used Photoshop and i’m not particular good at using it but it does a job)

I haven’t yet gone as far as including the actual tools within my version yet, as i’m still thinking how best to display them, what I like about the conversation prism is the use of the logos, but i’m wondering if that will work for some quite informal public sector forums or discussion groups? Maybe a combination of both will work? What do you think?

Anyway the “hopefully” more colourful version of my tool is below and I have made a decision to have 3 layers representing “professional”, “semi-professional” and “social”. The centre still at this stage represents the “intranet”, however I would hope that in the very near future that this could actually represent the Knowledge Hub, as it very much delivers the same outcomes and facilitates the same journey.

Self Directed Learning Tool - Colour

If you saw the previous version yesterday then you might notice that I have added an additional two headings which are Research and Reflection, this was due to feedback from the workforce development team and looking back at my first scribble, I had actually made a note of these two but forgot to include them – Doh!.

Any comments or thoughts on how you might use this to help colleagues in your council navigate the web for professional or social sites aimed at supporting one or more of the activities around the edges, I’d very much welcome your views.

It isn’t just a young person’s game – Humanizing Social Networks: Revealing the People Powering Social Media

An excellent analysis of the top social networks in the world over at PR 2.o – Brian Solis. If we thought this was a young person’s game then think again.

Facebook’s user age profile shows that more than 50% are in the age range 35-65 with the majority of those shared almost equally between 35-44 and 45-54.

However Twitter shows that nearly 75% for the same age range with the majority 35-44 having over 40%.

Whilst engaging with young people is a huge opportunity and mostly all reports and research I access shows that this is where young people are. It has huge potential across all ages and whilst we in the UK will naturally differ, we need to harness the opportunity now.

I am even more eager for the new Director of Digital Engagement to get going to provide a national agenda in this area.

For more analysis visit Brian Solis PR 2.0 blog Humanizing Social Networks: Revealing the People Powering Social Media.

PR 2.0: Finding the Tweet Spot – Top Tips for Building Twitter Relationships

With all the interest being generated in Twitter in the UK, in my view  sparked by Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (@wossy) and his conversation with Stephen Fry (@stephenfry).

On wednesday this week i saw a section on the  One Show (UK viewers only) where Gyles Brandreth explored what it was all about. The presenters who i enjoy watching didn’t quite get it and wondered why you would want to listen to the types of conversations that generally happen in these spaces – “making tea”, “going to shops” and ” off to town” being the type they were referring to…

I revisited my RSS feeds from earlier in the week and found this post by Brian Solis over at PR 2.0 about twitter and building relationships, it also contains links to supportive tools and feedback directly from the twitter community. A useful guide to understanding the real benefits of twitter, well worth checking out.

Introducing The Conversation Prism – Brian Solis PR 2.0

Brian Solis has created an excellent diagram called the conversation prism and it is free to use.

I have used a more basic less sophisticated version in my own internal presentations about social media. I am now glad that there is a much pretty one for us all to use.

check it out on his blog here

Catching up with social media

The tricky thing with social media is that there always seems to be something new appearing to play with, that will radically change the way we work and communicate.

In my role as the business lead for web strategy and development, i always try and focus on what the business is trying to achieve and what problems they are trying to solve and then look at the landscape to see what will work for them. I know many people from different organisations get a “thing” and then look for business problems. For me this is the wrong way round and we should focus on blended solutions to help people reach our variety of customers who choose to use various contact methods.

I came across the Social Media Manifesto by Brian Solis, which is about a year old now but i was unaware of it and i have found it a great read, especially alongside Clay Shirky (yes still going, i know i should have finished but i keep going back over some parts as they are so good). What i liked about what Brian Solis wrote was the simple but effective (getting started) bit…he writes:

“Below are your action items for placing your company on course for the Future of Integrating Marketing and embracing the world of social media to enhance relationships with press, bloggers, customers and all other unforeseen influencers:

  • Experiment with social media as a person before jumping in as a company spokesperson
  • Talk to the corporate marketing team, discuss the options, and divide and conquer
  • Listen – find the tools that work for you (technorati, GoogleBlogSearch, BlogPulse, etc.)
  • Determine where you customers participate, listen, read, and speak with them on their terms
  • Assign a community manager or multiple managers and start commenting, reading, writing, sharing, and participating
  • Participate as a contributor and not a marketer
  • Create company profiles and share relevant content on every important social networks – don’t forget to manage your presence in each one
  • Create videos, screencasts, and demos and upload to YouTube
  • Broadcast and receive relevant updates through Twitter, Plazes, or Jaiku
  • Webcast relevant videos
  • Podcast and/or host a video blog
  • Set up profiles for corporate bookmarks, industry trends, competition, and press/blogger coverage
  • Create special Linked in profiles for company executives
  • Establish contacts in all major IMs for specific company contacts
  • Expand the company blog to support multiple spokespersons
  • Add a blogroll that links to other relevant sites and ensure that each post trackbacks to other resources and references to increase visibility
  • Participate in comments
  • Create blog profiles in Mybloglog and Bloglines to reach dedicated users
  • Build company and campaign-specific profiles (where appropriate) on Facebook, Myspace, etc.
  • Develop your own social networks specific to the company and current activities a la Ning and Ideastorm
  • Host a regular talk show on blogtalkradio or blogtv
  • Create an account and Digg relevant stories – not just related to you
  • Write more than one release – experiment with social and SEO releases and create new distribution methods to get them in front of customers – the wire services are no longer the only game in town.
  • Analyze web statistics to measure traffic and referring sources”

Now i just need to tick these off and work my way through as best possible from a local government context…..but keeping up with social media tools themselves will prove to be a harder and more challenging role.