Tuesday, 11 December 2012

How can a researcher use social media?

I was asked if social media is good for researchers. Well of course! (And what else can I say as a researcher and as a social media holic?)

Source: uef.fi via Johanna on Pinterest
While I was thinking about the issue from my own point of view (I started a LinkedIn group for Finnish social media researchers last year and have got a lot of useful information from that) I found out a web page by University of Eastern Finland. They had lots of good hints on it so I wanted to translate some of the stuff for my own blog too.

Many of the tools in social media are free of charge for universities and specialists

True. But I add a warning: even if they are free now, it does not mean they remain free of charge in the future too. Keep in mind too that the services may disappear any day if they are profitable for the service provider.

With social media tools you can co-operate with people from different organizations without the mess of account bureaucracy

Yes. E.g. in Yammer you can have a secret group for your project people, invited by their emails.

You can reach useful tools that help working that your own employer do not provide

E.g. on my university laptop the only picture editing tool is Paint and I am not allowed to add e.g. GIMP that I am otherwise using - I lack the admin rights to my computer. However with help of Sumo Paint I can do some picture editing in the net without installing the software.

Get visibility for you and your research – build your web identity (expert brand)

The brand goes to two-ways - it is good for the university's reputation that it has researchers valued in social media networks while it is also good for the researchers themselves if their employer is seen as valued organization. So both are needed. The more links the university pages are get from social media the more they are valued by the search engines too.

Collaboration and networking
•Find the researcher community of your own field
•See e.g. services like LinkedIn, LeMill, Mendeley (sharing pdf’s) and ResearchGate.

Source: lemill.net via Johanna on Pinterest

ResearchGate is like LinkedIn but for researchers.
Xing is the professional network in German-speaking area. LeMill is started in Finland for sharing sharing open educational resources but it is maintained in English

In these groups you can ask ideas for good sources, tell about good conferences, get visibility to your publications and your projects. Maybe you get funding, maybe new projects or coworkers. You never know what can happen when you let the social media do its wonders!

Rich communication enabled by the tools (e.g. chats and video chat) gives you more presence in your interactions – all over the world and with help of instant messaging and Skype you can reduce the amount of emails - and phone costs.

I love the way Skype is working for groups of about 10 people. You can ask an opinion from your colleagues and the one who is online answers you. The others can go through the discussion when they are online too and add comments if needed.

In social tools it is easy to co-write, save and share documents, edit and share the pictures and use picture databases

The services I am using are GoogleDocs for co-writing and Dropbox for saving and sharing the documents. I use a lot of Flickr for finding pictures that can be used freely.

The materials and videos from conferences can be shared through social media

SlideShare and YouTube are good services for this. In our recent Mindtrek seminar I was tweeting for SOITA project and made some seminar videos to YouTube. The materials we provided were added to SlideShare and later on also to our Storify story of all SOITA presentations.  I do think that we have reached much more people with help of social media than we otherwise could have reached.

Social bookmark services researchers can not only collect useful links for themselves but share them with a group of people or in public

For links I currently use mostly Twitter and Pinterest. Pinterest is ideal for collection of links, we have e.g. one for CMAD event which our university project is co-organizing with others. I also use the new secret Pinterest board for stuff that is not public yet. I used to use Delicious and Diigo too but think they lack the social effects I get from Twitter and Pinterest.

Now - what would you add?  What possibilities did we forget?

One researcher people have praised me is Alexander Stocker. He even has a Facebook page for his blog where he tells about his research work and the conferences he has attended. After all the praise I just wish my German would be better. Another great example is Alf Rehn from Åbo Akademi in Finland. He must be busy with all of his projects but still he has time to be active on Twitter too.

Monday, 3 December 2012

How can an organization full of specialists use social media for PR work?

I was interviewed for a thesis about using social media for PR and I wanted to share my answers with  you too.

Do you think Social Media is a good platform for PR activities?
PR is defined in Wikipedia like this: Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or of political decisions.

Yes of course it is a good platform for PR. There are a lot of possibilities you can do for free and you can reach the people who are interested about you easily without any middle-men (aka journalists) who choose the messages they want to deliver further – with social media the public itself makes the decisions of what is important to them and what they want to distribute further to their own networks. Social media is not making the content creation any easier than it was before because just like press the public wants good quality content too (they can be even more demanding). People can easily start following brands in social media. They can look for you or they can find you via their own networks e.g. when someone retweets your content.

Social media is also a good channel to get feedback from customers and other interest groups.

How can Social Media be used for PR?
Wikipedia says: "Common PR activities include speaking at conferences, winning industry awards, working with the press, and employee communication."

So when you are e.g. speaking in a conference, you can inform about that in social media in very many ways:
  • tell in Facebook that you are going to be in the conference
  • if there is a LinkedIn (or Facebook) event about the conference, you can join it and promote it to your followers too
  • live tweet from the conference
  • stream from the conference (live-video)
  • add the video of the presentation to YouTube
  • take photos of the conferences and share them in social media
  • add the presentation material to SlideShare
  • blog about the conference
If you win industry awards you can share the information in your social media channels mentioned above and you can add the information to Wikipedia which will make your public image better.

For working with press Twitter is ideal as many journalists use it for news hunting. You can also share materials with them e.g. using Pinterest (for links) or some photo services like Flickr for photos.

With social media services you can also communicate with employees, you can e.g. have Facebook/LinkedIn groups where the open positions are informed or ask them to contribute to your blog or have internal microblog channel in Yammer.

What are the risks using Social Media for PR?
The biggest risk is forget about social media.

Another risk is in resourcing. When you start using social media you need to keep updating the channels also in the future, long breaks in content creation are much worse than no social media channels at all. Sometimes the social media channels are given to hands of people who do not understand that it is different to talk with your own friends in social media than with customers of a company and in those cases a lot of bad publicity can be got.

Organizations also need to prepare themselves for crisis: what do they do if something unexpected happens, who can answer and how fast can it be done. E.g. removing customer comments from Facebook pages or blogs is not a good idea as social media culture is open.

What are possible activities for an organization full of specialists like us using Social Media for PR?

Your key resources are your employers the specialists themselves. Try to encourage them to participate to social media with their own name and to include their employer in their profiles. Give them social media trainings and give them reasons to participate. Define how much resources they can use for social media monitoring and participating during the office hours.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Social media around the world 2011

Found an interesting report from last year about the social media usage around the world and especially in Europe. Looking at the figures we have no reason to be proud of our usage...

Some points from the report.
  •  98% of Europeans are aware of social media and 73% belong to at least one social network (on average they belong to 1.9 networks while 50% belong to only one, normally Facebook) while in Brazil 86% belong to networks (on average 3.1 networks). The southern Europeans are the most active in social media (maybe they are the most social Europeans in real life too?)
  • 44% of respondents wanted to take part in co-creation of products and advertising
  • 2/3 of employees are proud of their employer - but only 18% of them are talking about their employer in social media. Maybe because 2/3 European employees have limited access to their social media at work (the northern Europeans can access their social services more than the other Europeans).
  • Also 60 % of employees would like to get help from their employer about the social media usage, only 25% had a written social media policy in their company and only 13% had been given a social media training
  • we use more and more web through our mobile devices, but only 12% of mobile users use location based services and only 4% are aware of augmented reality

Monday, 29 October 2012

Tassilo Pellegrini about the communities of the future

Tassilo Pellegrini who I met in MindTrek this year gave me an interview about communities of the future. I had an interesting talk with him on the MindTrek party. He told me e.g. about his popular course in St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. It starts from a situation where no Internet exists anymore and the people need to rethink how communities can communicate without it. He told that some of his young students just cannot imagine a life without net while some are very creative in thinking new ways. When the way of communication is planned it can be moved to net too. Interesting idea and something we really should think about... There might be times when we need to survive without electricity. And we do not need to go very far, that was the situation in Finland a year ago after Christmas when some homes lacked electricity for weeks...

The purpose of this video is to promote Community Manager Appreciation Day which is held in Tampere on 28 January 2012 for the second time.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Top 100 tools for Learning by Jane Hart / @C4LPT

Jane Hart from Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies has created her yearly list of most popular on-line (and social media) tools for education. It is already the 6th time the polls is created.

The most popular toos this year were:
  1. Twitter
  2. YouTube 
  3. Google Docs (Google Drive) 
  4. Google Search (+11 since last year)
  5. WordPress 
  6. Dropbox 
  7. Skype (-3)
  8. PowerPoint  (+11)
  9. Facebook (+5)
  10. Wikipedia. (+1)
    So Google is dominating the top ten with 3 services. I am little surprised that teachers like Skype and Facebook more than Wikipedia.

The birth of Khan Academy (a TED talk)

The Future of Education
Salman Khan was talking about how he started his Academy on YouTube on TED last year:
Cool, ha?

PS. We did not have an article about Khan Academy in Finnish Wikipedia until I created it today...

Monday, 8 October 2012

MindTrek by @MerviRauhala

If you missed MindTrek last week this Storify story by Mervi Rauhala gives you a possibility to pick the highligts. :) Mervi did a good job in live-tweeting and I retweeted many of her tweets while I was live-tweeting for @soitaproject´s account. I have noticed it is easier to get followers for a human than for an organization and my aim was to get more followers for our project. I managed to double the amount of  followers in 3 days so I need to be content (not happy though). Soita project will be sharing our viewpoints of the MindTrek later in our blog.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Community managers in Finland, a MindTrek presentation

It´s been a while since I blogged here. But yesterday I took part in my very first panel discussion and for that I made a Storify presentation, enjoy: . The presentation was about community managers in Finland, we are not many yet and even less of us who get paid for the work we do with the online communities. But for anyone interested about the position and its challenges we have created a LinkedIn group for networking purposes. And we are arranging a seminar on Community Manager Appreciation Day, 28 January 2013.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Why does Etsy love SlideShare?

Many of my dollhouse friends have an Etsy store but I was not aware about its open software development culture until I saw this presentation. It also tells that the buzz starts normally after a conference when people start sharing the presentation they saw to their own network. Also the employers love to follow how their presentation is spread. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Explained

Now this is a nice video! It tells that using crowds for things is not a new idea but with help of Internet we can reach faster more people.
Not only the content but I also like the style of this video :).

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Marketing communication trends from London by Dimar

Another Dimar presentation by Aarne Töllinen who recently visited Social media worl in London.
He was looking through B2B eyes and told us in a webinar that
- B2B companies should consider using Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and blogs
- If you can choose between asset driven content aka products and human driven content aka expertise the latter is better
-blooming types of content are videos, emails and blog posts

Monday, 7 May 2012

Wärtsilä, a Finnish B2B company using social media

I recently participated Dimar seminar and found this presentation by Wärtsilä really good. It easily proves how also B2B companies benefit of social media.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Quotes from SXSW

This presentation had good ideas, read my 3 favorites below. :)
A brand needs human faces!
Don´t try to be the next Twitter - be the first You!
Not supporting your favorites is voting against them.

What were your own favorites?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Finnish Transfluent translates your tweets and updates

So this is cool: a service that translates your tweets and other social media updates in other languages. But how about when someone answers or asks a question, does the human translator ask the questions from the author? That would be neat! But anyway, see more yourself at Transfluent´s blog.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Social media for brands by @zipipop

Another great presentation by Zipipop is telling why companies should be in social media and what to do there. I liked especially the Community manager slides :).

All about Pinterest

I have fell in love. It is Pinterest. I am sure it is the next big thing in social media. How can I be so sure? My sister and my craft friends have proven it: it is not another geek service like Twitter and Google+ but something for the masses. They started to use it and they love. See more from this SlideShare presentation.
The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest
View more presentations from Michael Litman

I am using it too, see e.g. the board we have for Mini treasures :).