Thursday, April 28, 2011

My advice for William and Kate

Had another post in the can for today but an interview on CBC with Diana's royal photographer had me thinking about a few things that I thought would apply to William and Kate.

Much of the discussion was about physical touch.  In case you didn't know, you're not supposed to touch a member of the Royal family, unless they reach out to you.  Back in 1987, it was a big deal when Diana touched the hand of an AIDS patient.  There was also a big discussion back in 2009 when Michelle Obama touched the Queen

My advice: Reach out and touch the people.

I believe that in a world where people are becoming closer than they ever have, I would hope that William and Kate harness the power of human touch to create intimacy.  I worry that the Royals are completely out of touch normal people and I happen to think that touch can go along way.

At the same time, I worry that Royals are completely behind the times in terms of new media and social media.  They have a Twitter account but follow NOT ONE PERSON and generally just spew messages into the void.  

My advice: Embrace new media and social media

If you want to communicate with people, real people, get out there and engage with them using all of the new media and social platforms available.  I can only imagine what an impact it would have if they were to produce short Youtube videos messages after their wedding.

Personally, it is hard for me to feel any connection to the Royal family.  I am more concerned with how I might pay for my own wedding someday. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Planting thorny shrubs to deter burglars... or the declining value of a "tip"

'CCTV in operation' sign in a street in Oxford...Image via Wikipedia

I'm not really sure what a "tip" really is anymore.  

Take this amazingly impractical nugget of home security wisdom:  Plant thorny bushes or cacti around your house to deter burglars. 

I read this on Discovery's Channel's site.   

However it must be a popular tip because the BBC reported on it

Given the number of blogs I see turning out the classic "X tips" posts, I  have to wonder.

What is a tip anymore?  A useless and trite piece of info written by a link baiter?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why is it so hard to measure activity/influence on Twitter?

Being able to measure influence or activity on Twitter is a really big problem. 

Brands spend lots of money, in form of hours, interacting with people on Twitter.  Of course, they like to have something to show for that investment so there is a need to measure that activity and determine some type of ROI.

I'm not going to get into the whole ROI of social media debate but I'm going to say this right now:

Measuring activity and influence on Twitter is hard because it's just like trying to measure how somebody works a room at a networking event.  

I believe that it is best to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. 

Here's why:

Looking at number of followers and or following can be misleading. 

Klout score can be misleading. 

Reach-type numbers can be misleading. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why you need to support your local library

[NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY]Image by George Eastman House via Flickr
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I'm a frequent visitor to and supporter of public libraries.

In 2011, I hear people talking about books more than I can ever remember.  Books in the iPad, audio books on Audible, books in the Kindle, but what I don't hear people talking about is the public library.

The reality is that your public library is much more than books but here are some reasons why you need to visit and support your public libraries.

It's convenient: Most libraries have a system that lets you reserve books online and have them delivered to your local branch.  You get an email when the book is ready and all you have to do is go in and pick it up.  At the library nearest to my apartment, I can even check books out without waiting in line.  It takes only a few minutes.

It's cheap: Given the number of books that I read each year, if I was to buy them all, I'd probably be out close to $500.   My library lets me read as many books as I can handle - for free.

It's digital: That's right, it's not just physical materials anymore.  Chances are your local library has a digital collection of movies, ebooks and music that you can download. 

I would also like to mention that your local library might also carry software.  Computers for Communities, I non-profit that I volunteer with, recently donated 10 copies of Ubuntu to the Ottawa Public Library.

Visit your library and let me know what you think...

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