courtesy of
October marks the release of media maven Brian Solis’ and creative agency JESS3’s 2010 Conversation Prism 3.0. A colourful, spectacular infographic, the Conversation Prism represents the plethora of online engagement channels and applications available to brands, entrepreneurs, and organizations. As anyone involved in online marketing knows, the landscape of opportunity the web presents is massive, and growing all the time. It also changes at rapid-fire pace, as services collapse and expand, and as more and more companies and initiatives fight to find where their audience is, and engage their pants off.

I love infographics such as the Prism, and not just because they’re great for embedding in presentations. Visual representations are an excellent way for communications and marketing peeps to plan, strategize, and explore. Just as mind-mapping activities are an essential teacher tool to promote lateral thinking and idea generation in students, a handy infographic of web possibilities can really bring inspiration to brainstorming sessions and campaign reviews.

Of course, a peacock with this many feathers would be far too weighted down to strut. And a marketing or online engagement initiative can suffer the same fate if careful consideration, testing, and listening protocol isn’t undertaken in the planning stages. Take a strategic and critical approach and define your goals first, before delving into the buffet. Decide what you want to measure, and ensure that your chosen channels are robust enough to deliver the analytics you need. And above all, don’t overwhelm your audience with option overload. Choose the best and go from there, and do it right. An embarrassment of riches is still an embarrassment, right?

The Conversation Prism is available for purchase here. It’s $20, and worth it.

*No birds or other creatures of flight were harmed in the writing of this post.


Last night I had the amazing good fortune to present for the good folks behind Cause2Mkt, which is a really neat initiative that presents technology training topics for agents of social change. I’d highly suggest checking out their upcoming events. They rock.

We gathered at Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation, in a beautiful hardwood and brick studio room. CSI is a luvverly place to host a meeting, present, hang out, work, eavesdrop…. We did some filming for another project there earlier in the week and the experience was top notch. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter, as they host a ton of great events.

My workshop focused on the need for online community builders to consider the importance of great content in their outreach strategies. I presented my work as the Community Manager with Totally ADD, among other examples of innovative community initiatives.

And, as promised to the attendees, I’m pleased to provide my deck. I’ve included some of the links at the bottom of this post, since some weren’t embedded in the slides.

[slideshare id=5063793&doc=contentandcommunity-100826163311-phpapp02]

And here are some of the links mentioned above:

Totally ADD
The inaugural Old Spice video
The much more entertaining Totally ADD version
Cystic Life: A social network for the Cystic Fibrosis Community
Classroom 2.0: a worldwide social network for educators
CommunitySpark: a great site for aspiring community managers
The Community Roundtable: A peer network for community managers and social media practitioners

To the participants – thank you so much for being amazing people to talk to! And to Donnie and Maureen – thank you so much for the opportunity (and the cookies).


Anyone? Anyone?

I like presenting. I have a not-so-secret yearning for a job on the Shopping Channel too. Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of delivering several Social Media 101 workshops to a number of groups and organizations. Because I believe very strongly in what some might call the strategic tenets of the medium (and if you’re wondering what these tenets are, I’d suggest reading the inimitable Tamar Weinberg’s recent post here), I also believe in creating a similar authenticity in presentations about social media. SpaceRace specializes in helping people, companies, and organizations develop a digital strategy. Every person, company, and organization is different. Every presentation requires a close examination of the particular goals that can be achieved through a social media strategy and tactics. But the presentation itself should hold true to the ideas housed within. Walking the talk (in my best New York accent).
Tonight I’m working on a presentation for a large non-profit organization, and I’m thinking about how I’d like to position our time together as a conversation rather than a one-way delivery of stats, facts, and anecdotes. They are expecting me to stand at the front and deliver slides (and perhaps a few one-liners), but I’m going to create an experience for them that will illustrate that I’m there to listen as much as I am to share what I know. Here are my new rules:
1. I’m going to make it user-centric and personal. Do the research. What do I know about my audience? Their audience? Are they new media newbies? What is their existing decision making structure? What might their resources allow them to explore?
2. I’m going to make it interactive. Social media is “tactile”. It’s about actions and response. It’s about giving, and then responding. If we talk about Twitter, we need to tweet. I can help facilitate by creating a hashtag in advance, and invite my network to welcome and contribute.
3. I’m going to make it accessible through a number of entry points. On the day, it might be Prezi, or it might be Keynote. But it will be holdable in one’s hands, should someone want to use a pen and make notes. It will be accessible through their website, and other channels. Scribd. Slideshare. Maybe a podcast.
4. I’m going to make it fun. I’m going to wear a lampshade on my head. Wait…no! I’m going to wear my Snuggie!
5. I’m going to be myself. I won’t misrepresent my experience, my knowledge, and my current state of learning. Aren’t we always learning? Don’t we learn by listening?
6. I’m going to tell the truth. I’m going to provide case studies that relate. Warts, corns, and all. I’m not going to talk about the pot of gold, but rather how slippery the rainbow is.
7. I’m going to make it sustainable. I’m going to encourage and enable my audience to continue the conversation, with me and with each other. I might build a wiki, open up comments wherever it is housed, or plan follow ups and check ins. I’ll give my personal email address, phone number, and all the places within the social media space that I can be found and contacted.

I hope it goes well. I’m really looking forward to working with this group, because they’re out to make the world a better place for their clients. They deserve the best.


The full report is ready for download. So are other local government action resources.