Archive for October, 2011

16
Oct
11

Post 9-Social networking and the IGC

For the second time in the not too distant past, Dear readers,

Well, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and with this post they will (even if it is just temporary…you didnt think you could get rid of me that easily did you?) for today is my last official post as a Web 2.0 consultant.

This is also the final post in a series about the IGC. Over the last few posts, I have talked about Microblogging and the IGC and how the IGC could implement Wikis. Today I would like to wrap things up by discussing how the IGC could best utilise social networks.

A social network is simply a collection of individuals (or businesses) that are connected by means of everything from friendship, kinship and beliefs to common business interests or objectives. Who can guess which Social Network, with a current 800 million active users can be accessed at this link???…..here is another hint……..the fact is that social networks are growing in popularity to the point that even big businesses like Microsoft and Coca Cola Australia have jumped on the “Facey” bandwagon!

So how could the IGC use social networking as a basis for what it does?

  • The IGC needs to create a presence for itself. That means doing everything people will see as well as stuff people wont see. Get a team together whose job it is to update the IGCs social networking spaces. Then promote this newly created space as widely as possible (even on the IGC Website) and make sure its a spac where users can interact, collaborate and share.
  • Once the space has been established. Post as much information as possible as frequently as possible. This shows the IGC is committed to providing its followers with the latest information. Also, if the IGC (and the team that is behind its presence in the social networking spaces) can respond to feedback and questions posted by users, it shows a warm, friendly approach and that the IGC is not just another big business that doesnt care about the little people.

However, posting in the social networking space is not without its limitations and risks. Most of these risks can be addressed using a social media policy I discussed some of the legal risks of being in the social networking space (social media policies for enterprise) in a recent post.

By establishing a social network presence, the IGC can be seen as a friendly organisation that is genuinely interested in bringing Geology to the masses.

And so concludes my last post for the moment. I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my posts and comment on them. I do hope that they have been as interesting to read as they have been interesting to write.

That, dear readers, is the final siren. That, dear readers, is a wrap! :-)…..

……..almost……..

An example of a social media policy, used by Australian telco Telstra, can be found here.

Here is a guide to using Facebook for business and marketing.

Finally, here is a link to an interesting article by Dundas Lawyers about the legal risks of social networking

16
Oct
11

Post 8-Wikis and the IGC

Dear Readers,

In the last post (no pun or disrespect intended) I talked about how Microblogging could be used by the IGC as part of its conference that is due to be held in Brisbane. However, there are many other Web 2.0 technologies that could be utilised by the IGC to achieve its objectives. One of these is the Wiki, the most famous of which can be found here.

So, what is a wiki? Well, A Wiki is one or more webpages formulated into a website that can be edited by many users and is most effectively used as an online collaboration tool. It can have many purposes; everything from storing knowledge on a particular subject to organising the equipment needed for a camping trip can be done using a wiki.

And why would individuals and organisations want to adopt the wiki (I’m making it sound like a pet arent I?)? Well, since their invention, wikis have been known to reduce the volume of email being sent and received between users, improve communication between individuals and groups, provide a framework, workspace or template for users wishing to undertake group work and reduce the amount of time employees spen looking for relevant information because a database of knowledge is just a few clicks away.

Thats all great but how can wiki’s be utilised by The 34th IGC? Well, as stated before, wikis can be used to organise a trip, or to organise a group of people for a trip. The IGC could create separate wiki spaces for each country that is due to be present at the conference. On this wiki, the delegates from each country could collaboratively work out the arrangements for travel, accommodation and even the sessions that each delegate is going to attend. In addition, this wiki could also be expanded with input from representatives from the IGC with information that the delegates might want or need to know. All of this would ensure an organised, enjoyable and work[thwhile experience for the attendees.

OK. The IGC have these wikis set up but how do we get into using them. Would could the IGC do to ensure their investment was worthwhile?

  • Promote the wiki and get it out there. Point users in the direction of the wiki. Whats the point of a wiki if no one knows it exists or uses it? The IGC could post a link to it on their website or the other social media platforms that are out there.
  • Push information to the wiki. This is where the IGC would come in. A wiki will almost certainly be used for the wrong purpose or not at all if there is not some sort of framework relating to what it should be used for.
  • Make it truly a platform that allows the users to collaborate. Make the space secure but give the users the ability to add whatever they want to the space (provided it is relevant) in order to make the information worthwhile for the present but also the future as well.

By using Wikis, the IGC will be safe, well planned, enjoyable and ultimately worthwhile experience not only for the IGC but also the delegates as well.

Finally, before I go, I thought I’d share some info with you that relates to wikis but is outside the realm of the IGC. If you go here you can read up on wikis that are live NOW and that work (and work well). Additionally, if you go here you can find a very interesting article on how wikis can be used for business projects.

I’m off to collaborate on a trip to the beach. That, dear readers, is a wrap! 🙂

10
Oct
11

Post 7-Microblogging and the IGC

Dear Readers,

The more perceptive of you will have noticed that this is the third or fourth time I have posted on the IGC in the last few weeks….I am a bit of a perfectionist and as the posts of others changed so did mine. Hopefully this will be the last post on Micro blogging that I must subject you to. Isnt there a famous quote that says “times change and we change with the times”?

Anyway, you will recall that I have previously posted on the subject of micro-blogging in general. I highlighted some of the tools that enabled micro blogging and argued the use of micro-blogging to boost productivity and employee output. This week I want to focus on how micro blogging could be used to solve some of the issues of the IGC and those issues that they face at their conference.

Firstly though, a bit of background. The IGC is the International Geological Congress, the world leader in the presentation of results and research from all forms of Geo-science, the end result of which is mainly a networking opportunity for Geo-scientists all around the world. The IGC came to being in 1876 and as of 2004, comprises a body spanning 122 countries. The 34th IGC is to be held in Australia (in Brisbane in fact) in August 2012.

While other like-minded Web 2.o bloggers out there would have focused on the challenges surround the IGC up to the event itself, I choose to focus on a challenge that will hopefully not raise its ugly head during the conference (or at least, I hope it wont): The idea of getting updates to the conference delegates in case of emergency or change of plans.

The IGC could use a service such as twitter (or Yammer which is more an internal platform for micro-blogging) with which someone (or a team of people who are paid to do it) post regular updates on any vital information thy delegates needed to know. They could also then post links to more detailed information for perusal at a latter date.

We have already seen effective use of this by organisations such as the Queensland Police Service who regularly update users of Twitter and Facebook services with the latest vital information they need to know and with a 140 character word limit, the IGC could only post the most vital information in a way that was succinct and easy for delegates to get the full story from, quickly.

The IGC could also post relevant links and information on the subject of, for example, fire safety or traffic accidents.

In the event of an emergency, this information could then be easily passed onto the authorities without the need for unnecessary phone calls and delays.

By having a go at microblogging, the IGC would gain an even stronger reputation for being a world leader in the field and would be able to host an even bigger and better event that ensured the delegates were kept safe, informed and above all, gained the most out of the conference.

Well, that’s a wrap 🙂

Some useful links:

Information on The IGC http://34igc.org/

R Kayne, 2011-What is Microblogging? http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-microblogging.htm




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