Introducing my digital baby

As many of you know, last year I earned the privilege of parenthood after giving birth to my first child.

What you may not have been aware of… I also birthed my digital baby: How2 Social – a social education and mentoring platform.

My intent: Give everyone, no matter what their current skill set online, the opportunity to social with confidence.

In the year since, I have been splitting parenting duties between my now toddler and evolving the How2Social business concept while also setting myself the task of getting down and dirty in the back end of the build.

Admittedly, it has taken me a lot longer to get to this point than I originally thought it would, but that in itself has been an invaluable learning for me as well!

Which is why I am so thrilled to be able to introduce you to How2Social.com

Think of it as a concierge for social.

Built for the express purpose of enabling people of all ages and ability in and around social and digital media technology.

In the original stage we are launching with four distinct programs. They are:

  1. The Art of Social Parenting – the parents and guardian’s toolkit for managing their digital families.
  2. Social Business – for small and large organisations developing / refining their social communications.
  3. Social Me – for individuals developing your personal brand online.
  4. Social Sports – the pro athletes and coaches toolkit for building value through social communications.

Each of them are umbrella programs for an array of content specific, social media enabling, practical How2guides with the added and personalised benefit of a dedicated mentor to help you build your skill and confidence while building your brand for personal and/ or professional use.

It was important to me to develop a quality and individualised solution for people to learn and evolve their skill set in a ‘safe place’.

That’s why at How2Social we don’t mass produce solutions.

Each program is specifically tailored to the individual and very specific needs of members wherever they find themselves on the journey that is social.

Membership is free and the programs are intentionally affordable.

When you have a moment, please visit www.how2social.com and if I can assist you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Additionally, if you know anyone who would benefit from How2Social education products and mentoring services, then please forward them my details and ask them to contact me directly.

e: tiff@how2social.com      t: @TiffannyJunee    li: tiffannyjunee

Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me and celebrate the latest stage of my social technology journey. I am very grateful for your continued support.

xo Tiff xo

 

Up all night thanks to Online Gravity

Earlier in the week I received an inmail via LinkedIn from the overachieving Mr Paul McCarthy, letting me know his new book, Online Gravity  had been released.

Very generously, he forwarded a copy via post.

I first met Paul at a social media conference we were both presenting at last year and I was suitably excited for him.

Last night, before heading off into the land of nod, I thought I’d have a quick look through the newest arrival to my bedside reading collection.

This would soon prove possibly the most enjoyable mistake I’ve made in a long time.

Online Gravity is proof red bull now comes in paperback.
After flying through the first couple of chapters, my eyes were closed for less than 20 minutes before my brain sparked its first ‘must write down’ idea.

Wrestling out of bed and into the office to ‘brainstorm’ said idea, attempts to return to bed proved futile.

What is Online Gravity?
Paul McCarthy’s concept of the phenomenon of Online Gravity – an invisible force driving development (form and behaviour) in the age of the internet (online world) – is brilliant in its simple logic.

Online Gravity – the book,  demonstrates what the phenomenon does, how it develops and how it can be harnessed by individuals.

It marries the science of the universe, technology and business in easily digestible chunks – that makes you want to keep reading, to keep questioning and in consequence promotes deep and diverse, critical thinking.

With the unprecedented rates of change expected in global business structures, processes and workforce in the next five years thanks to digital ubiquity and the Internet of Things, Online Gravity is a tool every good educator should want to share with their students today to prepare them for a more evolved and much changed tomorrow.

While I still have a couple of pages left to read (full review to follow in due course), what I do know is Online Gravity should be on every digital media, communications and business syllabus.

It is an articulate, accessible guiding text on what we as digitally dependent individuals and businesses can expect in terms of process and practice. While articulating as a workforce, how best to harness the phenomenon of online gravity.

It is what true thought leadership looks like on paper and in practice.

What Online Gravity has given me
As someone who has been struggling with refining my PhD research question (just part of the joy of the process so I’m told), thought leadership such as Online Gravity motivates this humble researcher to stretch beyond convention in articulating the synergies and antagonisms of the new social business frontier and beyond.

As the principal mentor at How2Social.com, Online Gravity feels like a supportive hug as I jump off the new business precipice, confident in my ‘hunch’ of the ever-present need for and cultural importance of proactively enabling humans in and around new social and digital technologies.

Thank you Mr McCarthy for sharing the phenomenal read that is Online Gravity!

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Online Gravity is published by Simon & Schuster Australia and is available in paperback ($32.99) and e-book($17.99) formats.

If you are looking for a copy to call your own, Paul’s website provides the following guidance:

A number of eBook versions are also available including:

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Why Generation Next Must Be Nurtured

Tonight, I had the privilege of watching a young woman of The Women’s College within The University of Sydney bring the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to rapturous applause and laughter.

With nothing more than astute insight and articulate delivery, 19 year old Nicola kicked off question time at Anne Summers Conversations with aplomb.

And I wasn’t the only Women’s College Alumna enjoying the spectacle from Row J ; alongside Labor heavyweights, Mr Wayne Swan and Mrs Tanya Plibersiek was Women’s College alumnae: Ros Strong and the first woman on the NSW Supreme Court, Judge Jane Matthews.

With both current and past students scattered around the Concert Hall, we caught up with the ever approachable Judge Matthews over a glass of Chandon prior to the show.

And while the iPhone pics on the Sydney Opera House forecourt failed to capture the elegance of the occasion, Dr Anne Summers and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, had it in bucket loads as they discussed treatment of women in the workplace of High Government, the prevalence of Misogyny and the tactics that worked/ failed in the face of patriarchy.

Politics aside, when you listen to Former Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard in the flesh, it really is very hard not to admire her.

For when it comes to appreciating and recognising strong, capable women and engaging through shared experience (not that I’ve ever been PM, but I have spent most of my career in male-dominated industry), when Julia talks candidly, you can’t but help prick an ear to listen intently.

For while you may not agree with what she says, it’s hard to deny just how rich chocolate caramel she can actually sound and how she can make even the most unsavoury decisions palatable.

Perhaps the true effect of her very distinctive drawl…

19 year old Law student, Nicola was wide-eyed and in a state of absolute delight on meeting Judge Matthews pre-show, however, when she kicked off question time with the PM on live television, this competent young woman did not take a backwards step.

Her instrument of choice? The confidence to ask Australia’s first female Prime Minister what advice she’d give the new Minister for Women: Prime MInister Tony Abbott.

Ms Gillard’s response was just as articulate and witty, a feature – it would appear – of the Anne Summers Conversations.

Can’t wait until the next one!

Look out for further details in Looking Glass

Knowledge Production: A Social Process

Jacques Derrida claims that the process of writing is fundamentally changed by the way we write. Marshall McLuhan on the other hand points to the medium as ‘the message’, while German sociologist Niklas Luhmann opines ‘man is not able to communicate; only communication is able to communicate’. Three different men, three different opinions. Nothing new about that. Or is there?

Academics define, debate and redefine modern society as it is, or how we as individuals interact with it continuously. Put into a 2010 context, does technology impact the content, delivery or consumption of content and if so how?

How has the process of knowledge production changed with the advent of social media? More specifically, what are the epistemic consequences of social software and information architecture?

WOH! Hang on! What the hec is social software?

Social software enables group interaction. A conduit to conversation. So information architecture must be the mechanics of delivery, yes? Well kind of…

Okay, so accepting the structure of things has changed, how have our conversations changed specifically? And by that I mean, how has our production of knowledge evolved?

From blackboards in lecture halls to death by powerpoint in the boardroom (or classroom!) to Skyping across timezones, the physical space and time of our conversations has evolved through and because of social media capability.

Blogs (just like this one!) and the rise of Wiki’s sees the distribution of information and access to knowledge evolved both the classification of information (Luhmann), the way we engage with it and the dissemination process of information as knowledge beyond our local sphere.

McLuhan, Foucault and friends are a lot more accessible via youtube.com, wikipedia and the likes for the academic in training. And we know that what we see and read we need to take with a grain of salt (production and knowledge values are not expert) however, the entree to access is invaluable.

Schiltz, Truyen and Coppens(2007) in their article, Cutting the trees of knowledge: Social Software, Information Architecture and their epistemic consequences discuss how the nature of what is known seems to be changing. They use the example of a Linux expert and the expectations around what that in fact means. No longer is it assumed that the ‘expert’ contains all knowledge personally (‘in his head’), although it is assumed that s/he has direct access to it, either via a social/ professional network or both.

Social networking systems and applications are changing the way we gather, store, disseminate and create knowledge. Aggregated suites of software such as Facebook.com and myspace.com are pervasive.

Why is it important in our production of knowledge again?

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=10032646&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0
Social Media from Phil Guest on Vimeo.

The fundamental shift in communications practices is inter-related to the social network of the modern-day information society for which one way or another we can (and do! – Australian’s are some of the largest consumers of social media in the world) democratically ENGAGE.

Social Media: Hype or Communications Revolution?

No matter who I am speaking with, everyone wants to know about social media and how to best use it for their business.

The most frightening thing for me is the inflexibility from business owners and senior management teams. Used to throwing money at marketing and sales activities, this group of learned corporates expect this new media channel to fit within the existing consumer consumption paradigm. But it doesn’t.

Now, I could lie to any corporate waving a cheque in my direction and tell them that social media is where they need to be and that I can brand them up to Koo-ee… if I was that way inclined, but I’m not.

Quite possibly to my fiscal detriment I tell them THEY need to shift current practices, THEY need to engage personally, because social media is tactile and it’s about THEM. And in doing so, they need to be ready for anything. But very few are ready to hear the truth of best practice in social media.

The most common reaction I get is the age-old blank, silent ‘you have no idea what you’re talking about, I can’t possibly do that’ look of horror. They’re the ones you can’t help – yet. But rest assured, they’ll come knocking in about 6 – 12 months (maybe less) wanting to take the plunge and for you to hold their hand. That’s a good thing, they’ve had the critical shift in mindset: from observation to a considered willingness moving towards participation.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that nearly half of the Australian population do not know life without a mobile telephone…so for them, social media is about as strenuous a jump now, as what Atari to VCR was in the 80’s.

Mobile telephony and consumer communications are ubiquitous. What was once achieved with a full-page ad in the sunday papers, now needs to be re-purposed for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry just to ensure the target consumers have the chance (not guaranteed distribution) of engaging with your diligently crafted creative. Then in order to get positive Word Of Mouth (which SM does not guarantee), you need to Tweet, facebook, myspace, blog, retweet and Digg, in the interests of starting (or hopefully continuing) the desired brand and business conversation.

Marketing and Communications practices need to change in order to maximise the potential of new media technologies. It’s a bit like driving a car with stability control switched off because you already know how to drive; or outsourcing your call centre without conducting product training or considering systems management processes. It just kind of exists without adding tangible and measurable value intrinsically to your brand and your business.

Ceding control is confronting. It’s against every marketing and sales principle worth engaging. That was of course, until the arrival of social media capability.

Knowing if, when and how to cede control is the key to getting cut through within the savvy new media consumer sphere.

So is Social Media hype or part of a Communications Revolution? Neither, merely part of the evolution of 21st century communications.

A quick video to explain…

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=10032646&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Social Media from Phil Guest on Vimeo.