Category Archives: How2Social

Getting (back) on the Digital Leadership horse

I recently asked a friend (and former colleague) for feedback on my newly minted CV. It’s been a while between interviews.

After 20 plus years in corporate, relaunching brands and working with some of the leading individual, team and organisational brands in the world, I’d turned my focus towards balancing my corporate experience with academia as my biological clock ticked louder than it ever had.

Returning to study mid career, I discovered I was really good at this thing called academia.

It sparked synapses I didn’t know I had and finally my laser focus, flamboyant musings and random questioning was mainstream.

Okay maybe not mainstream but my pondering about whether platform intents, advertising-led solutions and citizen rights were aligned – found its logical place to dwell and be nurtured.

When the person who marked my master’s dissertation asked me to teach for him, I discovered a joy of knowledge production I’d been avoiding – despite being a 7th generation educator.

But when I stepped back towards the corporate world (ironically when I was pregnant), I didn’t leap back in…as at the time, nothing really grabbed my attention as being ‘next gen awesome’.

Mothers in the workplace

Instead, I balanced a burgeoning social media and marketing consultancy (which ironically grew out of word of mouth rather than any social media influencer activities) with my sessional lecturing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Matrasence is the process of becoming a mother and when I was four months pregnant I decided to blow the dust off my research and build a resource around social media marketing and social networking platforms to help everyone who hadn’t dedicated the last five years to upskilling in this new communications tech, like I had! ūüôā

A decade later, when I recently zoomed with a potential employer for a position promoting safety and privacy around social media platforms on behalf of the government, he declared optimistically, ‘We’re not first to market with this, but we believe we can make the proportional difference’ and I didn’t disagreed with him, although instantly I saw him making the same mistakes I had a decade ago… talking about doing it rather than building it.

First to market doesn’t ensure success

I’d been first to market with How 2 Social and the industry in Australia was so under-developed in it’s thinking about social tech that on more than one occasion business leaders, agency leads, media law academics alike told me straight-faced that social media was a fad, it would never have any real impact in organisational marketing communications and existing law would cover whatever the latest new media trend threw at it. Back then I didn’t code, so I couldn’t build my solution.

The Regulator arrives 25 years later…

Twenty-five years on from the commercialisation of the internet and a healthy 11 years after Facebook launched in Australia, the federal government is only just getting around to attempting to regulate the space.

Why?

Because they do not own the hardware, nor do they have the blanket capability to monitor, assess and act on the multitude of abuses the misuse of technology provides to individual members of the global digital citizenry to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.

When I raised concerns over the need for attention to systems design and ownership review of our telecommunications and cable networks I cut myself out of the running for that particular gig, but it does raise an important question…

How much do you know about the safety and security of your data service? Do you know where your private information is stored?

What I can tell you is rarely (if ever) are the answers to these questions ‘In Australia’.

In 2020, when I jumped back into solution-building for my own start ups with the mission to introduce equity into law and education for Australians, I created digital spaces from scratch to ensure they were Australian owned, built and born – from content to website, to app and every data point in between. After all, shouldn’t our schools own their own data? And shouldn’t the Judiciary operate as it was intended across all levels – lawfully?

Want to know more, so you can proactively manage your team and organisational next gen social and digital solutions?

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Stop Nurturing Your e-Brand on social

If you do this…

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And that’s okay, if you understand how the digital ecosystem works.

Since 1920’s Australians have been encouraged to consume. Initially through the power of print media, then radio and television. 

Convenience has driven consumption of products and services for a hundred years, but somewhere in the last decade,  you and I became the product being sold, under the guise of community and human’s inherent (or learned) desire for connection.

Social media and technology platforms have so expertly distracted us from realising our digital selves are a mirror of our most vulnerable selves, disguising itself as a free solution to building our networks.

However, social technology and mobile media doesn’t connect us, it ‘distracts’ us and from it new daily habits and new norms formed.

Not sure, what I mean…?

Imagine there is a black out for 24 hours. Your phone has just run out of battery and there is literally no way to charge your devices. Even if you could, there is no internet connection.

You’re officially (and without warning) disconnected with no control over when reconnection will occur.

Think about that.

As an individual, How will that impact your mobility, your connection with your partner, children, local community, friends, extended family? How will it affect your earning capacity, ability to be on time (or even know the time), your access to money…?

Can you thrive, your way, in your everyday without being ‘plugged in’?

For most, the simple loss of electricity, paralyses our ‘normal’ everyday routine.

If you’re a small business owner paying ‘influencers’ to do this:

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Ask yourself how sustainable your approach to the market really is.

Social media nurtures a public profile for all to exploit.

It doesn’t organically provide you with community and opportunity or knowledge, merely access to information curated by an algorithm that it thinks you should like… and so you do.

The operational cost of participating is not just your privacy. It’s your intelligence. Now this is nothing new and you probably have felt very comfortable handing over your personal and business data to the AI-driven bots of the Big 7 for years.

But in the absence of legal protections and faint attempts by the ACCC to protect the business interests of media organisations above and beyond the actual human right to privacy for all Australians, your data will continue to be sold back to you, to increase your consumption of mobile and social platforms, because you continue to ride them.

Why do we capitulate so easily to being ‘dumbed down’ as both individuals and society?

The tide needs to turn and although an ethics discussion has been simmering, it is falling largely on deaf ears, possibly because of our collective apathy and the economics of a challenge seem unviable.

Civilisations have crumbled repeatedly throughout the history of man. Why?

Maybe it’s because we fail to recognise the patterns of history do apply to the living and rather than seek to amend our ways intelligently, sustainably and purposefully we default to the convenience of consuming the information provided to us, rather than proactively seeking what is in our collective best interest.

Do you care enough about yourself and your loved ones to seek out a future where your daily actions are your own, or don’t you feel your privacy is worth anything anymore…?

This week’s Challenge: Remove your social media platforms from your phone for a week and see what you are really missing out on.

It’s time to re-think your approach to Social.

I spent a day with some of the brightest young minds in advertising last week.

The similarities

All were fabulous, capable, intelligent, hard-working ‘go-getters’.¬†All were running some of the¬†better social media campaigns in Australia.

Some were from boutique agencies doing really cool stuff, others had evolved to freelancers, some were in-house marketers, while others were clinging lovingly to the structural ropes at some of Australia’s biggest agencies.

All were social coordinators, social leaders, the agencies’ ‘social experts’.

Yet, throughout the course of the day, I felt myself go through all the stages of grief.

I took the next day off to get my head back into production mode and (as luck would have it) I was surrounded by social marketing and social media practitioners who also shattered my new media soul into a thousand pieces when they started telling me How2 Social through buzz phrases, which included (but painfully was not limited to) ‘personal brand’ in the same breath as ‘authenticity’ and ‘social measurement’ as Facebook metrics.

Over two separate days in two completely different environments, my grief was confounded.

Why?

In the short space of two days, it became abundantly clear that current practice is merely a hybrid of the platform ‘certified’ sales pitches. A regurgitation and adaption of the papers we were writing and the presentations we were giving back in 2012…

OVER FIVE YEARS AGO!

(and yes, I know I’m screaming, but seriously…?!)

Discussions around social media have traditionally been driven by the available technology, or social community management issues that have arisen through the event of participation.

Traditionally, advertising and media agencies have worked behind a thin veil of creative agency presenting ‘the solution’ as the requisite bridge between product/ sterile company and desired consumer.

Sadly however, a large percentage of Advertising, PR, Communications and Media Agencies are entrenched in outdated business practice when it comes to production for and distribution on social.

If these company representatives are anything to go by, even the agencies who have re-badged their Art Director to Creative Lead are missing the point somewhat entirely!

This only compounds my grief as Australian agencies should be leading the global creative charge in this space (and no don’t point me to the self-congratulatory¬†industry statues corporations spend millions to win each year).

Creatives have the opportunity to lead, rather than dwell.

Directors have the opportunity to integrate and showcase, rather than merely direct traffic.

Oh.. and to the Preditors (the hybrid being that is both producer and editor) let’s make a concerted effort to lose the jargon.

It’s not about what you call yourself, it’s what you say and do that drives impact.

Is Email the Darth Vader of Modern Business Communications?

In a world where instant communications and engagement is rapidly becoming the norm, email is taking on all the traits of a dark lord in the making.

Electronic mail (e-mail) started out as a powerful and useful tool that brought speed and (for the most part) brevity to industrial and corporate communications. However, it is rapidly transforming into the disgruntled Jedi of communications.

Email is a dark art in workplace solutions. A habitual norm. Administratively heavy, it sucks precious time and resources from your everyday.

and yet… for all its operational inefficiencies it still seems to work for the majority.

Mobility has ensured access to the dark lord of ICT communications. Smartphones have ensured access to webmail a standard… in effect minimising the mobile digital divide, by giving cross-generational¬†comfort on these new platforms and devices.

In this form, email is the connector. The access point for new media platforms and devices.

Convergence can only occur where comfort resides.

For the first decade of ‘social’ it has been email, but what’s next…?¬†

What’s able to fill the void? Is SMS or IM enough? or is non-regulation the biggest obstacle here…?

Non-regulation, poor regulation and the non-specific zones of the internet environment are our biggest foes.

Not just for business, but for governments and citizens as well.

There are no robust legal structures in place that currently nurture nor protect the individual online, let alone small business.

In over a decade there has been very little movement towards reform as monetising the internet remains the priority.

LinkedIn – the largest professional network where people have been putting their personal information for free for the last decade is now owned by a multinational corporation in Microsoft.

I find it strange that no one is questioning the personal cost of such a merger… perhaps for the majority of us, we’re not switching on to the reality of the evolution of the social networking platform that profiled, connected and enabled market transfers in human terms…. at what cost are we willing to earn a buck?

Let’s hope someday in the not too distant future we all start thinking about and directly addressing the cost of how we ‘settle’ the wild west of the internet.

What are we really willing to relinquish in order to earn a buck?

If so, what is the true cost to the individual, team or organisation… society?

Sadly, it’s a question very few are willing to articulate, let alone address with a view to answering

Why?

Because in order to do so, we’d have to acknowledge and address not only email as the Dark Lord of the internet, but the deeper, now embedded commercial practices of digital decadence and the new norm of dumbing down and relaxing acceptable standards of entertainment, operations and performance.

Let’s stop being happy with average and strive for great and the impossible again.

 

 

Snap gains sight, as it farewells chat

Snapchat launches Spectacles Рits video and audio recording wearable for funsters

and parents…

While the yet to be discussed personal security implications of Spectacles is yet to be  acknowledged, let alone realised by the majority, they hint towards a very near future of integrated wearables.

Much in the same vein as mobile phones effortlessly transformed into smartphones and an extension of mankind, are Spectacles the next step in new media?

#WatchThisSpace

In other SnapChat news, SnapChat is no longer and Snap Inc. it is.

‘When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product ‚Äď but doesn‚Äôt lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand’ said Snapchat founder (and Miranda Kerr’s finance),¬†Evan Spiegel.

‘Changing our name also has another benefit: when you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis. You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd ūüôā

Given the recent intro of Spectacles, it seems not only a timely re-brand, but a prelude to a product range of integrated wearables.

Snap Inc.’s approach, also highlights the importance of search in locating company products, no matter what the size, shape or form of your company.

Twitter changes explained

Since the return of founder Jack Dorsey as CEO in 2015, Twitter has reclaimed its engineering roots.

Not surprisingly, platform change has been afoot.

Over the past couple of months, Twitter has:

  • added the feature ‘poll your community’ – a nifty little tool enabling you to write a research poll (from the comfort of your twitter app) and send it out into the Twitterverse for feedback – something this user has done on several occasions with variant degrees of success.
  • Introduced .GIF search courtesy of partners¬†at¬†GIPHY¬†and¬†Riffsy
  • integrated Periscope into tweets so that you can enjoy live broadcasts.

In the coming months, more changes are rolling out all thanks to the fact, Twitter have redefined the 140 characters limit.

A little history here might be helpful…

The 140 character limit of tweets exists, because in 2006 when Biz, Jack & Co. were building the platform, SMS messages were limited to 140 characters.

It was a known standard.

Throughout the last decade the 140 standard has been exactly that Рan acceptable and much loved limit to engaging on Twitter.

As an avid user of the platform for the past six years, both personally and professionally, I’ve always found Twitter as a great way to #connect, #Engage and #Participate with community members.

Professionally, I’ve been an avid user of Twitter to mentor both my undergrad and postgrad students.

It was a great way to maintain a dialogue with keen students throughout the semester while avoiding the essay-esque emails of panic around assessment and exam time.

It was a great way of teaching media and communications students how to edit and sub-edit without losing impact and intent.

It was a great research tool, news gathering tool – it was a great tool for educating communications student how to, research, engage and communicate with community.

Here’s what will and will not be considered a character in¬†a tweet:

  • @ – twitterhandles will not be counted as characters. This is great news if your twitter handle is loooooong, now people might start tweeting you ūüôā
  • Media attachments (URLs, photos, GIFs, polls) will not take up valuable character spacing, so you now have more room to say what you want to say.
  • the .@ convention has gone – THANK GOODNESS! This convention was just plain ugly! Instead, the power of the Retweet returns for both you and your community members. If you start a tweet with a @username then your tweet will be broadcast to all your followers.
  • RT – and if you want to broadcast a tweet more broadly, then you now are able to retweet your own tweets.

Twitter_May24

 

 

 

Sampling Jelly

Each week I test something new.

For the last month or so, I’ve been playing around with Jelly.

Not the ‘crystals and hot water time to freeze’ type, but Biz Stone’s 2016¬†version of¬†search.

As with all new platforms and apps, I started off with the basics:

Who is Biz Stone?

Who is Tiffanny Junee?

Not that I put myself in Biz’s global communications lead, but I was interested to see if the big boys were¬†searched the same way as the little guys ūüôā

To my surprise, they were.

The reply, inboxed to me when ready, was an information map – try Wikipedia.

I found this initially jarring. Then I danced a little jig.

Finally, a content and information search solution for this century.

Something to cut through and make sense of the tyrannasaurous-sized bytes.

I’m really excited to see how Jelly evolves

Given that it is in closed Beta, I’ll start asking the important questions,¬†as soon as I work out what they are…

 

How2 Social Sports

How2 Social’s vision is to empower athletes, coaches and administrators through education about how to create knowledge and value on new¬†social and digital media.

The How2Social Sports program empowers professional athletes, teams and organisations to harness the power of the internet communications technologies to build brand value.

The program is born out of ongoing social media in sports studies that began at the University of Sydney in 2010 in the form of my Master’s thesis,¬†To Tweet or Not To Tweet: Social Media as Strategic Communicatios in Australian Rugby Union.

TToNTT - Social Sports Research.jpg

Professional athletes, coaches (and to a lesser extent administrators)  have a limited time to maximise the earn from their sporting efforts.

The ability to build capital (social and economic) should be a financial imperative, sought by forward-thinking player managers and community leaders.

In Australia, social leadership is light on the ground, with few sporting organisations moving towards the future standard of being social businesses.

So what’s¬†stopping us?

  • A true understanding of how new social media enables business and creates time¬†and¬†capital for the business, the leader and the employee, is lacking.
  • Social Media is fluid and requires a rethink of all ingrained communications practices across EVERY touchpoint of the business.
  • Change is hard and noone likes change.
  • Social Media has its on language, practices and protocols and business simply doesn’t understand it as well as what they do traditional media. So knowing where to start is really hard.
  • Professional sporting organisations and governing bodies are conservative organisations and their rigid structures don’t have the requisite¬†flexibility, skill sets and intention to remould ingrained practice without significant key stakeholder buy-in and as with any change management program – change takes time.
  • In order for forward thinking leaders to learn How2 Social (aka the art of being public), but due to the voracity of the tribe and constant media attention, they need to do so privately (and continuously) – their jobs (rightly or wrongly) depend on it!

The How2 Social Sports Program

Designed for professional athletes, coaches and administrators, the How2Social Sports program is a multi-platform social learning solution that scaffolds (supports) and mentors the individual (athlete, coach,administrator) along their social media journey.

For more information: 

http://www.how2social.com

email: sports@how2social.com 

tel: +61 (0)2 8347 1530      

The Future of Social Media in Government

When business and personal demands allow, I attend key conferences as either a chair, keynote speaker or delegate.

What spins my wheels is not only the occassional flash of research porn presented by the REALLY clever kids doing the REALLY cool things, but also the sharing and exchange of information and on trend practice.

Some government departments are well ahead of the pack when it comes to the integration of new social technologies into their communications mix.

The Australian Government Department of Human Services springs to mind. They have been evolving their social selves since 2009 and their considered approach is a winner.

Conversely, there is also a number of departments and government organisations who simply lack the intent and/ or technacy to push their operations forward towards social.

In the evolving sphere of social and digital communications sharing is key.

Both for evolving best practice and to welcome the late comers to social media and reassuring these organisations that it’s not too late.

Their social and digital media journey will simply be fast-tracked for them, although the challenges around buy-in from both within and outside the organisation will unfortunately remain.

#Gov3Conf

I have spent the last two days in the nation’s capital chairing the International Business Review’s 5th Annual Government Social Media Future 2016 Congress.

With a varied and really engaged¬†line up of speakers¬†and delegates it has been a great 48 hours dialoging about ‘what’s next’ in¬†social.

Day 1 investigated local government case studies on the changing face of social media landscape, social engagement and approaches to engaging communities. Disruption and Digital transformation were not surprisingling key themes.

Day 2 saw some great case studies presented by Amanda Dennett of the Australian Government Department of Human Services, Lisa Portolan of the Australian Sports Commission, Dale Roberts of Head Space and Craig Mack of Diabetes NSW.

Not surprisingly, the resounding points of discussion amongst delegates were about the actionable:

  • how can I get started on social?
  • we don’t have huge budgets, can someone recommend How2…?
  • can you help me how to get senior management on board for social?

It is precisely from observations and discussions such as these, that How2Social.com was born.

I believe EVERYONE should have access to knowledge and practical information for How2 use the platforms and / or the steps to managing successful social media campaigns and teams.

If you would like access to knowledge about How2Social with confidence for your organisation, head over to http://www.how2social.com and reinvigorate your social journey with an affordable, personalised program and digital mentor when and where you’re in need.