Presenting to the IMKS Forum

On Tuesday this week I gave a presentation to the new and growing IMKS Forum (Information Management and Knowledge Sharing) which is facilitated by Kingston University and in particular Chris Head.

To be honest the I was a last-minute booking so to speak, as a previous confirmed speaker had to pull out, so Chris asked me late last week if I could stand in, which I was happy to do. The nice bit was that I was allowed to speak on any topic related to social media.

So last Friday lunchtime I pulled together a very quick presentation based on the majority of my blog posts over the last few weeks which have all pretty much focused on the people and behaviour aspects to social media and not the tools themselves.

However I also decided to try out some new things in the presentation which I thought would offer a different perspective and also a different experience for the audience. On reflection and based on the feedback I’ve had so far, it was very well received and also light-hearted.

A few of the new things I tried which I personally felt gave me more confidence to deliver the content alongside the slides was:

  • manage expectations – never assume you are the most knowledgeable person in a room about any given subject. I had thought that most if not all people in the room would have heard some form of social media speaker before and wanted to offer something different…
  • Reflecting on my own personal journey – for example, when I first started using social media – I was seduced by the tools and thought that everyone had to be on twitter and everyone had to be in Facebook, but as my understanding matured, this isn’t really the case, it really does require you to reflect and understand that these tools whilst popular and powerful are changing behaviours (obvious stuff) and it is these behaviours that we ought to understand and not always the tools…
  • Using little “on-screen” notes – I thought about whether or not this would work, but it seemed to provide a good way of stating the obvious or avoiding particular topics but most of all adding a bit of humour. I also used this as a way to acknowledge the short comings of the presentation…after all it was created in my lunch break and I didn’t really have time to add images, photos…I guess that is why i used some basic customer animation to try to bring it alive.
  • Referring to my family to help illustrate points – Dave Briggs is a master at this and if you have ever seen him talk, you’ll know about his Dad on Facebook. So my version of this so to speak was to use my Mum and her addition to Farmville as a way to make some points about the tools are not always used in the ways they were intended…My mum doesn’t really use Facebook to connect with people, she uses it as a games platform first and in particular Farmville and then uses the network features as an after thought.
  • Avoid the common place stuff – I didn’t bother quoting statistics, mainly because I always get caught out as the stats change so often, but also because I don’t think they really help illustrate the point….yes they say this stuff is big and you tube has more video than well the world has time to view, Facebook would be the 3rd biggest country, but I’m not sure this helps people to be honest…trying to get a manager to appreciate that this stuff can help them engage with service users is important – saying Facebook has over 500 million users simply reinforces the issue that engaging with large diverse audiences is hard and will get even harder with these new communities – so I simply just acknowledged that this stuff is pretty popular and you may have heard of these tools called twitter and Facebook etc – and went back to the behaviour and expectations that these tools create in our friends, family, co-workers etc.
  • Acknowledge the technology – I couldn’t ignore my geeky nature and therefore had to include some aspects of technology, but I treated this as a “future trends” aspect and made some observations on how I thought some of the technology developments will impact on behaviour.

Anyway here is my presentation, It doesn’t give the full effect as I used custom animation in the presentation but you should at least get the flavour – for those who can’t make out the title – it supposed to say – Social Media, which then fly’s out and is replaced with People and Behaviour.

Integrating social with your corporate website – localgov style!

I’ve been managing, albeit slowly, to catch up on the many blogs, documents, videos etc I’ve saved for “later” (the joy of owning an iPad in my view).

Anyway I was very interested in this webinar that was funded by Janrain and Badgeville that the Altemeter Group’s  Jeremiah Owyang gave some excellent insights into How to Integrate Social Into Your Website:

I’ve embedded the webinar below, it is well worth watching.

It got me thinking about how far a local authority or public sector website can actually integrate social into its corporate website without it looking, well “crap” for the want of a better word.

I’m not aware of any examples of seamless “social” integration within a public sector corporate website in the UK (yet) to the level that Jeremiah suggests, but progress is being made which is reassuring across a range of aspects and I guess that priorities are different wherever you go.

I do think that utah.gov‘s approach to some of its “social” and “mobile” provision is something that we in the UK could certainly learn from and adapt. I won’t comment on the site as a whole as it didn’t actually seem to work very well in google chrome, so reverted back to Firefox to check out content. I think it is fair to say that I suspect that the broadband speed in Utah are much better than they are within Rural England, so perhaps large images load fast for their core audience.

Despite the initial challenges to accessing the site, I did find some very good things which I’d love to see developed further (note not replicated) here in Devon, for example Utah Collaborate sets a nice tone but doesn’t quite go far enough to really be about “collaboration” however it is better than most if not all things I’ve seen elsewhere (NB: I’ve not done formal research in this area and my visits to websites have been random)

The collaborate idea could be a great platform for linked data and service design as well as a space for developers to show of their apps or services directly to the end users…I think if we created a much better relationship to our local developer community the whole collaborate idea would be about how other people can develop our services with or without us better than we can, thus saving money.

Utah, have got something which sort of creates a foundation for this alongside the collaborate space and that is Utah Widgets. I think that this has huge potential for people to hack data sets and create widgets based on their preferences, I’m sure Utah have a roadmap for this kind of thing, but what would be good would be to see a range of community data sets includes alongside the ones provided already and the widget space become a “mash-up” centre in a similar way the Knowledge Hub plans to provide this function for the UK Public sector as a whole.

Finally I do like the way that they integrate Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms within the site and don’t initially send people off away from the corporate site – this is a key lesson I think we can all learn from.

On a separate but linked note, the way that the online services and transactions are promoted on Utah is not something I feel would encourage people to interact online….but the social aspects are good….the reality is the online services are where the costs savings are.

YouTube trials video downloads – NMA

Interesting news from YouTube, they are piloting downloads.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this will take on.

Twitter for Business – O’Reilly Radar webcast

Whilst looking through you tube, i found this interesting O’Reilly webcast about Twitter for Business. If you are thinking about how it can be used then check this out, it is just over 1 hour long.